Dalai Lama visit

Posted on October 11, 2011. Filed under: News |

This morning, IJR Policy and Analysis programme manager Jan Hofmeyr has an article in Business Day on the controversy over the Dalai Lama’s most recent application for a visa to visit South Africa. I have included the first few paragraphs here – then follow the link below to read the full article on the Business Day website.

JAN HOFMEYR: Policy communication

State must learn how to negotiate and communicate tough moral decisions in an increasingly complex world
BOTH the noise and silence following the cancellation of the Dalai Lama’s visit to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s birthday celebration speak volumes about our collective search for national identity, perhaps more than it does about the nature of our relationship with China. It says a lot about who we think we ought to be and what we are becoming in a world that looks very different from the normative environment that shaped our democratic state in the 1990s. The matter may be specific, but the issues that underpin it are not peculiar to SA. Seismic changes in the global configuration of power over a short period have altered our conceptions of what are “acceptable”, “appropriate” and the “norm” in international relations. In this fast-changing world, normative frameworks are struggling to adapt to these new realities that, just a few years ago, were unimaginable. These are uncertain times, with global thought-leaders increasingly having to admit their confusion on opinion pages. Political-risk consultation has become a lucrative business. Full article here.

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