Friday, October 10, 2014

New PhD Dissertation on Tanzania's Foreign Policy

"The study is about Tanzanian foreign policy and its participation in conflict resolution. The survey goes back to the 1950’s when Tanganyika’s nationalist leader Julius Nyerere and Ghana’s leader, Kwame Nkrumah led the liberation struggles and promoted the pan-African unity. The main assumption is that over fifty years, the nation’s role and outlook in conflict resolution has remained the same despite changes in circumstances and the shift of emphasis. Tanzania’s participation in conflict resolution is divided into two phases: from the mid 1950’s during decolonisation to the 1990’s when the focus shifted to the Great Lakes Region (GLR) conflicts. The “security” concept as reflected in Tanzania’s traditional response to conflict in Southern Africa has by the early 1990’s evolved to address specific problems in the neighbourhood. This also entailed the regional’s and international community’s response to those problems. Given that Tanzania’s security is connected to that of its immediate neighbours the Regional Security Complex Theory has been adopted to assist in the explanation of Tanzania’s experience in resolving conflicts in Mozambique, Rwanda and Burundi. The model focuses on the domestic, state-to-state relations – which produces a security region, relations with the neighbouring regions; and the relationship between the international community and regional security structures. Mozambique has been selected partly because it is the only country in whose conflict resolution from the liberation struggles to the end of the civil wars Tanzania participated. Mozambique’s experience required Tanzania to focus on the link between decolonisation and development as well as develop a regional and pan-African policy. Rwanda and Burundi have been selected because they depict the post-colonial and post-Cold War case studies that required concerted regional and international responses. The study found that Tanzania’s nation-building process largely contributed to its understanding and handling of intra-state conflicts. Nationalist struggles both served as a basis for minimising the factors that in the long run would cause conflicts and informed the country’s initiatives at the regional level. The study further found that Tanzania’s involvement in managing the conflicts in the neighbouring countries was informed by the immediate impact of the conflicts on the region and the threat they pose to Tanzania’s national security. Being involved in resolving Mozambique’s, Rwanda’s and Burundi’s conflicts for a longer period than the other countries, Tanzania also worked with regional and the international actors. The actors include the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the UN as well as other individual countries. In some instances Tanzania was even ahead of the other actors in responding to conflicts such as Rwanda’s 1990 conflict. Finally, Tanzania’s foreign policy and the participation in conflict resolution have largely been successful in the struggles against colonialism and apartheid as well as in the mediation and facilitation of peace talks. The involvement in peacekeeping missions has been an increasing trend, with a shifting emphasis on peace enforcement" - Dr. Lucy Shule on From Southern Africa to the Great Lakes Region: challenges to Tanzanian foreign policy and conflict resolution in Sub-Saharan Africa <>


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