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Economic and Sociocultural Encounters in Borders: Experiences from Southern Africa, Perspectives from Europe, Asia and South America

This project is situated within debates on borders, borderlands, sub- and regional integration. It examines local, grassroots and non-state actors and their cross-border economic and sociocultural encounters and contestations. And the role they play in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and its integration project. The project also deliberately includes perspectives on borders, borderlands and integration in other world regions including Europe, Asia and South America. The aim is to not only enhance the understanding of Southern African borders, but also contribute to the attempts and formulations by scholars, policymakers, practitioners and ordinary people to make sense of the lines that seem to so easily separate and box people into mutually exclusive categories.

Project leaders: Dr Chris Nshimbi, Dr Inocent Moyo (University of Zululand), Dr Jussi Laine (University of Eastern Finland).

 

Contacts

Chris.nshimbi@governanceinnovation.org

‘Broadening the Debate on EU-Africa Relations’, by ESA-SSA, 20-21.07.2017

On July 20-21, scholars from every corner of Africa assembled at GovInn HQ for a workshop entitled “Broadening the Debate on EU-Africa Relations”. The aim of this ESA-SSA workshop was to advance perspectives on EU-Africa relations from Africa and the African diaspora. Scholars had an opportunity to scrutinise underexplored dimensions of the relationship as well as provide new insights into more established elements of the partnership. At the same time, the workshop represented a first effort at redressing the imbalance in scholarship on EU-Africa relations, which has hitherto been dominated by writing from Europe. Most importantly, new friendships were made and commitments to further collaborative research solidified. Stay tuned for more workshops to come!

 
ERGO Workshop 2017

‘South African Foreign Policy: Identities, intentions, and directions’, 07.07.2017

On 6 July 2017 the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) in collaboration with the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP), the Department of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and the South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) hosted a roundtable discussion for the launch of the book “South African Foreign Policy: Identities, intentions, and directions” edited by David R. Black and David J. Hornsby. The book explores South Africa’s post-apartheid foreign policy aiming to deepen the understanding of South Africa’s evolving foreign policy via analysis of its bilateral relationships with key global actors in both the “global south” and “north”. The roundtable featured contributors to the book and Associate Professor Hornsby in attendance and was moderated by UP department of Political Sciences own Ms Sithembile Mbete. A strong contingent of diplomatic corps and ministry staffers filled the venue to capacity despite the University being in winter recess with low student attendance and fruitful discussion ensued preempting refreshments. On behalf of our partners GovInn would like to thank all in attendance for making this book launch a success.

 

‘The EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership and global environmental governance: Towards effective multilateralism after Copenhagen?’, by Adelle & Kotsopoulos, 06.07.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researchers Camilla Adelle and John Kotsopoulos published the article ‘The EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership and global environmental governance: Towards effective multilateralism after Copenhagen?’ in the South African Journal of International Affairs.

This paper uses an analytical framework drawn from organisational studies to unpack and evaluate climate change relations under the EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership. The article finds that, while the EU and South Africa share a common purpose and high-level climate goals, many of the formal organisational structures set up under the partnership to tackle climate change and the environment are weak and have fallen into disuse. At the same time several factors outside of the strategic partnership, such as South Africa’s hosting of the Durban climate change meeting, have played a significant role in promoting climate cooperation between the two partners. Therefore, while the strategic partnership creates an additional opportunity for climate cooperation, it is by no means the only or even the most important instrument in the EU’s foreign policy tool box for negotiation and dialogue.

Read the full article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10220461.2017.1345321

‘Regional actorness and interregional relations: ASEAN, the EU and Mercosur’, by Frank Mattheis, 02.06.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Frank Mattheis published, together with Uwe Wunderlich, the article ‘Regional actorness and interregional relations: ASEAN, the EU and Mercosur‘ in the Journal of European Integration.

The European Union (EU) has a long tradition of interregional dialogue mechanisms with other regional organisations and is using these relations to project its own model of institutionalised actorness. This is partly motivated by the emerging actorness of the EU itself, which benefits from fostering capable regional counterparts in other parts of the world. This article advances the argument that actorness, which we conceptualise in terms of institutions, recognition and identity, is a relational concept, dependent on context and perception. Taking the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and their relations with the EU as case studies, this article demonstrates that the actorness capabilities of all three organisations have been enhanced as result of ASEAN-EU and Mercosur-EU relations. However, there are clear limits to the development of the three components of regional actorness and to the interregional relations themselves. While there is evidence of institutional enhancement in ASEAN and Mercosur, these formal changes have been grafted on top of firmly entrenched normative underpinnings. The formation of different identities and institutional capacities has narrowed the scope of EU interregionalism despite the initial success of improved regional actorness.

Read the full article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07036337.2017.1333503

‘Letter From Pretoria’, on EU-SA relations by John Kotsopoulus and Camilla Adele, 26.05.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researchers John Kotsopoulos and Camilla Adele the ‘Letter From Europa‘ at Carnegie Europe.

South Africa is experiencing a period of political and economic turmoil that has consequences for the country’s focus and consistency in its international relations, including with respect to the EU.

Read the full article here: http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/70016

Join the The European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Repositioning Europe in the study of regions: comparative regionalism, interregionalism and decentred regionalism by Frank Mattheis

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Frank Mattheis published the article ‘Repositioning Europe in the study of regions: comparative regionalism, interregionalism and decentred regionalism‘ in the Journal of European Integration.

The constitution of European Union (EU) studies has long been an exclusionary process, both dealing extensively with internal debates and arguing for an own discipline within or even next to political sciences and international relations. Due to the self-centredness on the vivid development of the EU, other regions were largely disregarded when it came to theory building or only taken into account later as comparators.

 

Read the full article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07036337.2017.1317985

‘Can the relationship between Europe and Africa stand the test of time?’, The Conversation, 29.03.2017

Govinn’s Senior Researcher  published the article ‘Can the relationship between Europe and Africa stand the test of time?‘ in The Conversation.

Controversially, the agreement served to perpetuate African dependency on Europe. Even the Lome Convention’s much touted “non-reciprocal” principle, which was supposed to nurture African industries, further attached them to Europe. The convention eventually met strong criticism as a system of “collective clientelism”, which was perpetuating dependency and “elite capture” in Africa. This contradictory relationship between dependency and progressive thinking has made Africans understandably circumspect.

Read the full article here: https://theconversation.com/can-the-relationship-between-europe-and-africa-stand-the-test-of-time-75136?

Reflections on Sixty Years of the European Union in Africa

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa are delighted to invite you to a Roundtable Discussion entitled: Reflections on Sixty Years of the European Union in Africa

FINAL 60th anniversary event UP EU

Public Lecture: “Donald Trump: Aggravator or Catalyst in EU Crises”

 

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the Department of Political Sciences (University of Pretoria) held a public lecture on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 entitled “Donald Trump: Aggravator or Catalyst in EU Crises”. The lecture was presented by visiting scholar Dr Wolfgang Seibel from the University of Konstanz, Germany. The event was well attended by a variety of scholars and practitioners including members of the diplomatic corps, government and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), and boasted a strong showing by students from the Department of Political Sciences eager to engage with a highly topical subject matter.

 

A transcript of Dr Seibel’s lecture is available below.

Seibel_UPretoria_Trump_EuropeanCrises_170215