Southern Africa

Nelson Mandela: The Aristocrat and the Revolution – A Historical Biography

Author Xolela Mangcu dispenses with the standard argument that Nelson Mandela was the product of the traditional African leadership culture of his guardian, Chief Jongintaba. He argues that through their policy of pragmatic friendship with white colonialists, Mandela’s Thembu royal family became early founders of a conservative, collaborationist, colonial modernity that stood in sharp tension with his later radical influences in Johannesburg. These contradictory, but unmistakably modernist, influences became the source of Mandela’s celebrated pragmatism.

Fifth Al-Moumin Award Presented to Geoffrey Dabelko and Ken Conca

The Fifth Al-Moumin Award on Environmental Peacebuilding, presented by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and the United Nations Environment Programme, was recently awarded to Geoffrey Dabelko and Ken Conca for their contributions to the field of environmental peacebuilding, with special recognition of their book, Environmental Peacemaking.

Monde Muyangwa's Full Statement on Zimbabwe's Political Situation

The political situation in Zimbabwe continues to evolve, and it is not completely clear whether there has been a military coup or not.  Beyond the statements from the military that it has intervened, it is also not clear exactly who is in charge of the political reins of power. In announcing its intervention, the military is choosing its words very carefully. In part, this is because of governance norms established by the African Union that have taken a hardline against unconstitutional changes of government, particularly those led by the military.

Researching the Global Cold War in South Africa’s Archives

Archives in Pretoria and Bloemfontein offer opportunities for researchers of nuclear and Cold War history.

South Africa is the only state to develop and later renounce nuclear weapons. Yet many questions about the scope of the program and the decisions that lead to its termination between 1989-90 remain. As access to archives and primary sources expands, the South African case deserves renewed attention.

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