South Africa as a global actor : regional and multilateral trade strategies from 1994 to 2004
This thesis examInes the strategic character of South Africa's regional and multilateral trade strategies. It looks at the interplays between the domestic, regional and multilateral levels during the period from 1994 to 2004. The regional focus is on Southern Africa, looking in particular at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade; and the multilateral/global backdrop is the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations from Seattle to Doha 'Development' Round. The question at the core of this research is how regionalism is appropriated by state actors to respond both to domestic and global imperatives? The central question is framed around analysing the extent to which South Africa uses regional and multilateral trade strategies to address its domestic developmental concerns and to build capacity for effective articulation at the global level. These developmental concerns encompass both social equity objectives and strategic competitive needs of domestic capital. For South Africa, the region's importance is linked to its strategic response to domestic growth challenges and exigencies linked to external forces. Drawing on the New Regionalism Approach (NRA) and Competitive Strategic Regionalism Approach as analytic frameworks, this thesis argues that South Africa uses regionalism as a strategy to address its domestic growth challenges, extend political influence in the sub-region and project power at the global level. However, due to structural disarticulation between South Africa and the region, a crucial paradox in South Africa's overall regional and multilateral trade strategies is apparent. The thesis sets out to examine this paradox, concluding that it undermines the coherence of South Africa's post-apartheid regional and multilateral trade strategies.