English: The ambitious foreign policy that democratic South Africa has pursued since 1994
contains a strong element of international norm-entrepreneurship. This largely selfimposed
undertaking can involve a set of related tasks: upholding, formulating,
promoting and enforcing internationally accepted norms of state conduct. South
Africa has indeed taken up all four responsibilities. The country has established an
exemplary record in respecting universal norms both domestically and in its foreign
relations. South Africa features prominently as a norm formulator in multilateral
forums, especially in Africa. The missionary zeal with which the new South Africa had
originally promoted norms abroad has, however, been tempered by a pragmatism that
tends to favour money over morality. The Republic has shown even less enthusiasm for
norm enforcement. Contentious international issues like Zimbabwe and Myanmar
revealed inconsistencies and prevarication in South Africa’s norm entrepreneurship.
Instead of watering down its initiatives even further, South Africa ought to embark on a
more robust form of norm entrepreneurship abroad.