South African Perceptions on the European Union: Soft Power and Security
This chapter looks at the way in which the European Union is portrayed and perceived by the South African media and the South African public at large. Based on data collected in 2015, this chapter focuses on the perception of the EU in a time characterised by crises and declining significance of “great powers”. Against the backdrop of the EU Global Strategy, this chapter contrasts the image projected by the EU with what is observed within South Africa. Referring to previous studies on South African perceptions of the EU, this study looks at the way the EU is framed in the South African media, as well as the public response based on a public opinion survey. The findings show a discrepancy in the ambivalent and slightly critical way the South African media frame the EU compared to the more positive opinion the public holds of its position in the global arena. This chapter addresses the local contexts that foster such discrepancies.
- Afrobarometer. (2002). South Africa Round 2 Data. Available online http://afrobarometer.org/data/south-africa-round-2-data-2002 (accessed January 31, 2018).
- European Union. (2016). European Global Strategy. Available online https://europa.eu/globalstrategy/files/eugs_review_web.pdf (accessed July 26, 2018).
- Fioramonti, L., & Olivier, G. (2007). Alturism or Self-Interest? An Exploratory Study of the EU’s External Image of South Africa’ European Foreign Affairs Review, 12, 401–419.Google Scholar
- Games, D. (2012). South Africa as Africa’s Gateway: A Perspective from Business. Policy Briefing 46, Economic Diplomacy Programme SAIIA. Available online https://www.saiia.org.za/policy-briefings/187-south-africa-as-africa-s-gateway-a-perspective-from-business/file (accessed July 26, 2018).
- Holland, M. (1985). The EEC Code for South Africa: A Reassessment. The World Today, 41(1), 12–14.Google Scholar
- Hulse, M. (2016). Regional Powers and Leadership in Regional Institutions: Nigeria in ECOWAS and South Africa in SADC (KFG Working Paper No. 76). Available online http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/en/v/transformeurope/publications/working_paper/wp/wp76/WP_76_Hulse_PRINT.pdf (accessed March 17, 2018).
- International Monetary Fund. (2017). The Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa Restarting the Growth Engine. Available online https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/REO/SSA/Issues/2017/05/03/sreo0517 (accessed March 17, 2018).
- Kokolo, W. (2015). The Role of the EU in African Peace and Security Architecture. The Jean Monnet Papers on Political Economy No. 13. Available online https://www.uop.gr/images/files/kokolo.pdf (accessed March 17, 2018).
- Manners, I. (2002). Normative Power Europe: A Contradiction in Terms? Journal of Common Market Studies, 40(2).Google Scholar
- Meyn, M. (2004). The Progress of Economic Regionalisation in Southern Africa—Challenges for SADC and COMESA. Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa, 5.Google Scholar
- Nye, J. (2006). Think Again: Soft Power. Foreign Policy. Available online http://foreignpolicy.com/2006/02/23/think-again-soft-power/ (accessed March 17, 2018).
- Olivier, G. (2006). South Africa and the European Union. Self Interest, Ideology and Alturism. Pretoria: Protea Book House.Google Scholar
- Olivier, G., & Fioramonti, L. (2010). The Emerging ‘Global South’: The EU in the Eyes of India, Brazil and South Africa. In S. Lucarelli & L. Fioramonti (Eds.), External Perceptions of the European Union as a Global Actor. London: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. Google Scholar
- PPMI/NCRE/NFG. (2015). Analysis of the Perception of the EU and EU’s Policies Abroad—Final Report. Available online http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/fpi/showcases/eu_perceptions_study_en.htm (accessed March 17, 2018).
- Schoeman, M., Kelafe, A., & Alden, C. (2017). It’s Time South Africa Tuned into Africa’s Views About Its Role on the Continent. The Conversation. Available online https://theconversation.com/its-time-south-africa-tuned-into-africas-views-about-its-role-on-the-continent-71019 (accessed March 17, 2018).
- Sidiropoulos, E. (2012). Do South Africa and the European Union Need Each Other? Available online http://www.saiia.org.za/opinion-analysis/do-south-africa-and-the-european-union-need-each-other (accessed March 17, 2018).
- Tsuruoka, M. (2008). How External Perceptions of the European Union Are Shaped; Endogenous and Exogenous Sources. Presented at GARNET Conference ‘The EU in International Affairs’, Brussels, 24–26 April 2008.Google Scholar