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Reconstructing South African identity through global summitry

Alden, Christopher and Schoeman, Maxi (2015) Reconstructing South African identity through global summitry. Global Summitry, 1 (2). pp. 187-204. ISSN 2058-7430

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Identification Number: 10.1093/global/guw001


This article will evaluate South Africa’s pursuit of global summitry as an expression of its own evolving national identity. Since its inception, South Africa’s multiculturalism has produced fragmentation and reconstitution of identity-based sovereignty. We argue that the contradictions which have featured in the historical processes of South African identity formation and reformation, whether from its position as a colonial bastion of white power or that of a beacon of African liberation, are both motivated by, and manifested through, its foreign policy activism in global summitry. This process lends meaning to contested domestic politics and helps shape regional and global affinities, affirming South Africa’s legitimacy as a representative of the African continent. Engaging in global summitry provides South Africa an opportunity to present a coherent purpose to audiences at home and abroad on key issues that emerge out of the country’s divided diversity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Oxford University Press on behalf of Munk School and Rotman School of Management
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 11:17
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2021 23:11

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