In April 1994, black and white South Africans for the first time will vote for a nonracial government. This watershed election is one of many recent profound changes in Southern Africa, including independence in Namibia, democratic elections in Zambia, a peace agreement in Mozambique, and renewed civil war in Angola.
The authors explore the sources and dynamics of the political, economic, and diplomatic transformations taking place in Southern Africa. They recount how Southern Africa has long endured costly, violent domestic and interstate conflicts, often complicated and intensified by external interventions and interests. They also analyze the various attempts to resolve Southern Africa's conflicts. They suggest that the democratic transition in South Africa opens the possibility to create a secure Southern Africa, but they also note that past conflict legacies and new unanticipated conflicts could stand in the way. The challenge ahead will be to create new institutions at the national and regional levels that can help political players resolve conflict without resorting to violence.