The notion of engagement underlies the history of diplomacy, and as such represents the most important tool in a foreign policy practitioner's armoury. Today, improved communications are allowing citizens of democratic nations to see the real nature of the states with which their governments engage, including those with dire records concerning the human rights of their own citizens. The idea of 'constructive engagement' is forwarded by governments as a method whereby pressure can be brought to bear on these countries to improve their record on human rights, while diplomatic and economic contacts can be maintained. But does this approach achieve positive outcomes? To-answer this question, this book offers a critical evaluation of one of the best known examples of constructive engagement - the Reagan administration's policy towards South Africa.
North America: Ohio U Press; South Africa: Jacana
Introduction; I CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT & SOUTH AFRICA The aims of constructive engagement; Resisting sanctions: constructive economic engagement?; Further debates in Washington; Pretoria's perspective; Competing agendas within South Africa; Constructive engagement inside South Africa: addressing local realities? II LINKAGE: SOUTH AFRICA, ANGOLA & NAMIBIA Washington's interests & Crocker's linkage strategy; Pretoria & UNITA: the beneficiaries of linkage?; Linkage policy undermined: destabilization & the funding of UNITA; Factors behind the Angolan/Namibian settlement; Effects of the settlement on less powerful actors; III CONCLUSIONS Successes & failures of constructive engagement; Implications for today's policy makers.