Friday, February 12, 2016

"Morning in South Africa" by Diplomat John Campbell, from Rowman & Littlefield, Introduces Post-Apartheid South Africa to an International Audience

Morning in South Africa
John Campbell
Rowman & Littlefield (June 2016)

This incisive, deeply informed book introduces post-apartheid South Africa to an international audience. For Westerners, South Africa’s past racism and white supremacy echo their own. So, too, do the difficulties in overcoming that crushing historical burden. Under President Jacob Zuma, Africa is treading water. Nevertheless, despite calls to undermine the 1994 political settlement characterized by human rights guarantees and the rule of law, distinguished diplomat John Campbell argues that the country’s future is bright and that its democratic institutions will weather its current lackluster governance.

The book opens with an overview to orient readers to South Africa’s historical inheritance. A look back at the presidential inaugurations of Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma and Mandela’s funeral illustrates some of the ways South Africa has indeed changed in style since 1994. Reviewing current demographic trends, Campbell highlights the persistent consequences of apartheid. He goes on to consider education, health, and current political developments, including land reform, with an eye on how South Africa’s democracy is responding to associated thorny challenges. The book ends with an assessment of why prospects are currently poor for closer South African ties with the West. Campbell concludes, though, that South Africa’s democracy has been surprisingly adaptable, and that despite intractable problems, the black majority are no longer strangers in their own country.


v   Assesses the strengths of democratic governance using the problem areas of  education, health, and land reform.
v   Explains why closer political ties between the US and South Africa, both multi-  racial democracies based on the rule of law, are unlikely in the near future.
v   Ideal reading for visitors to South Africa, journalists, businesspeople, and policy  makers.

 John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at  the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He entered the U.S. Foreign  Service as a political officer in 1975 and served at the American embassy in  Pretoria/Cape Town from 1993 to 1996. His books include Nigeria: Dancing on  the Brink

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