The Ubuntu Principle in the Internal and Foreign Policy of South Africa
This article focuses on the features of South Africa's foreign policy, which in 2011 became the fifth member of BRICS. South Africa's decision to join BRIC was based on the principles of its foreign policy: promoting a multipolar, just and equitable world order, and striving for Africa's development and prosperity. The focus is on the notion of Ubuntu and the shaping of South Africa's foreign policy since the 1990s. Ubuntu is one of the main philosophical concepts and organizing principles of the Bantu-speaking peoples of Africa. After the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa and the democratic transition in 1994, the Ubuntu philosophy was adopted by the leaders of the country, became a tool for regulating public life, entered the practice of domestic public policy, and was firmly established as one of the key principles of foreign policy. This paper aims at identifying when the philosophy of Ubuntu became part of South Africa's foreign policy, at determining the extent to which this notion has influenced South Africa's foreign policy rhetoric, and at identifying the instruments of Ubuntu's dissemination by the South African government. The methodological basis for this study was qualitative content analysis, the method of deduction and induction, synthesis, and a historical approach. During the study much attention was paid to the analysis of documents of strategic nature, which reflect the state domestic and foreign policy. Scientific novelty consists in the complex analysis of state documents and their research in terms of the content of the concept of Ubuntu and principles of Ubuntu. Such analysis has not been previously presented in the domestic science. The author's conclusions argue for a high degree of integration of the concept of Ubuntu into South Africa's strategic foreign policy. For about 30 years now they have been following the principles of Ubuntu in their foreign and domestic social, economic and political policies. By playing a social and regulatory role, Ubuntu has become an instrument of public diplomacy: various magazines, radio stations, national Ubuntu Awards have been created. All these tools are aimed at informing and drawing public attention to South Africa's foreign policy, promoting the development of a multipolar world, asserting an alternative model to the Western system of individualism.
South Africa; BRICS; Ubuntu; South African foreign policy; African renaissance; African identity; public diplomacy.
Ekaterina Emelianenko