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Contexto Internacional

Print version ISSN 0102-8529On-line version ISSN 1982-0240


SILVA, Igor Castellano da. Explaining Co-operation and Conflict in Southern Africa: State-building, Foreign Policy and Regional Order. Contexto int. [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.2, pp.567-591. ISSN 1982-0240.

Abstract: Between 1975 and 1988, the Southern African regional system was marked by high levels of systemic conflict involving direct and indirect armed confrontation between South Africa and its neighbours. This reality sharply contrasts with the co-operative environment that has gradually formed since 1989. Following the trends towards deepening and widening the systemic comprehension of international relations, this study seeks to understand why there were changes in the pattern of co-operation–conflict in the Southern African regional system in the last 40 years. The central hypothesis is that (i) the state-building process and (ii) regional and secondary powers’ foreign policy formation and execution towards the regional order are factors which have directly affected the regional pattern of co-operation–conflict. Specifically, this article studies South Africa and Angola’s state-building process and foreign policy formation and execution from 1975 to 2015. The research concludes that these states produced co-operation or conflict as part of their balance of positions towards the systemic order, which is an interactional result of their state-building process (state capacity and state–society relations) and its impact on foreign policy’s formation and execution (interests and security of the elites and foreign policy position and impetus towards the regional order).

Keywords : Co-operation; Conflict; Southern Africa; Regional System; Foreign Policy; State-Building; Regional Order.

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