Why the Negotiations Succeeded

  • Pierre du Toit
Part of the Ethnic and Intercommunity Conflict Series book series (EAI)


South Africa’s peacemakers succeeded where many others failed. Considered for many years to be a least likely case for successful peacemaking, failure was predicted with regularity, even as the peace talks got underway. Identifying factors which were conducive to success had become important to the vocation of peacemaking and for the management of peace process in other conflict arenas. To retain perspective it has to be recognised that this success story is not without blemish. A consideration of the flaws in the South African peace process also needs to be made from which valuable insights can be gleaned. Negotiations that fail become an extension of the conflict which they tried to resolve. Explaining this failure is the task of conflict theory. Explaining successful negotiations is the task of the theory of conflict resolution.1 The following reasons (in no particular sequence of importance) for the success of South Africa’s negotiated transition can be advanced, with reference to relevant theoretical underpinnings.


Good Faith Security Force Peace Process Alliance Partner Negotiate Agreement 
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Copyright information

© Pierre du Toit 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre du Toit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of StellenboschSouth Africa

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