Botswana�s �ethical� foreign policy supports Israeli apartheid

I have attended many academic and political fora where Botswana’s foreign policy issues have been a topic of discussion. While some people are advocating for Botswana to adopt a codified foreign policy, some are opposed to that citing that the anarchic nature of the international system (where anything can happen at any time) Botswana does not require a rigid codified foreign policy but should be flexible and take a position based on what is happening on the ground.

My studying of International Relations has taught me that when countries adopt foreign policies towards other states, they are mostly driven by issues of national interests and their own survival or security. In International Relations we call this Realism. Furthermore other scholars within this field posit that some countries pursue foreign policy with many considerations on ethics, values and norms as expected by the international community. In this liberal or ethical foreign policy environment states or leaders of states always take into consideration issues of democracy (transparency and accountability) human rights and most importantly respect for international law.

Now when it comes to Botswana’s relations with other actor actors in the international system, it is at times very difficult to explain on which model does she subscribe to because in many cases the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation would state that they took a stance on a certain issue considering her national interests, but in many instances they usually cite ethical reasons for taking decisions with regards to relations with other states.

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