Professor Siphamandla Zondi

Professor Siphamandla Zondi


Professor Siphamandla Zondi is a professor at the University of Pretoria. He coordinates the Department’s Institute for Strategic and Political Affairs, which analyses strategic dynamics in national, continental and international affairs including decision-making, leadership, norms, values, and agency. He also oversees the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation and the Centre for Mediation in Africa. Between 2004 and 2016, he worked first as the head of the Africa programme of the Institute for Global Dialogue associated with Unisa and later as the head of the Institute itself. He was previously employed to lead research on regional integration at the Africa Institute between 2000 and 2003. His intellectual interests lie in the area of Africa's international relations as well as theory building in relation to decolonization and transformation of the modern world and its systems.

His recent published work focused on the diplomacy of common positions at the African Union, decolonising diplomatic theory and practice, south-south agency in global affairs, African voices in international relations and the paradigm of peace and dialogue. Zondi is the co-editor (with Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni) of the recently published book entitled Decolonising the University, its Knowledge and Disciplines (Carolina Press) – available on Amazon. He is the current editor of the journal, Latin American Report, and is on editorial boards of several international journals. He serves on the National Planning Commission of South Africa with a special focus on regional and international partnerships. He is also on the Steering Committee of the Council on International Relations, which advises the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on international affairs. He was appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture as one of the Social Cohesion Advocates, promoting dialogue and activities designed to help the nation-building and social cohesion endeavor. He recently submitted a book manuscript on NGOs, Africa and Global Power and is finalizing another on African Agency in World Affairs. He was recently appointed as a mentor in the NIHSS doctoral mentorship programme. He is a passionate mentor of young thought leaders and committed activists in the cause for decolonial diversal futures.

Prof Siphamandla Zondi has recently been appointed as the Chairperson of the South African BRICS Think Tank Council (SABTT) at the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and an official representative in the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC).


Research focus: 

Africa's international relations/negotiations; Decolonial political thought including Afrocentric, black feminist, critical race theory, subaltern thought etc. and Critical studies of global south agency including IBSA, BRICS, NAM, G77, etc.


Selected publications:

  • 2017: Rising power and Peacebuilding: Breaking the Mold? In: South African Peacebuilding Approaches: Evolution and Lessons, (eds) C. de Coning & C. Call. New York: Springer. (pp. 107-125).
  • 2017: From MDGs to Sustainable Development Goals. The Trevails of International Development. In: The UN, the Idea of Development" Between Dissensus and Consensus, (eds) S. Zondi & P. Mthembu. Pretoria: Unisa Press. (pp. 18-42).
  • 2017: 'Of demons and angels: The "International" gaze on electoral democracy in Africa', International journal of African Renaissance Studies, 12 (1), pp. 7 - 21.
  • 2017:  'African Union approaches to peacebuilding: Efforts at shifting the continent towards decolonial peace', African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 17 (1), pp. 105 - 131.
  • 2016: ‘Ubuntu and Sumak Kasaw: The Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Search for a Global South Humanist Paradigm of Development’, South African Journal of International Affairs, 23 (1).
  • 2016: ‘A Decolonial Turn in Diplomatic Theory: Unmasking Epistemic Injustice’, Journal of Contemporary History, 41 (1).
  • 2016: Decolonial Turn and the Case for an Afrocentric Analysis of African Integration’. Decolonising the African University, Knowledge Systems and Disciplines, Durham: Carolina Academic Press. (co-edited)
  • 2016: ‘Deliberate Coexistence of War and Peace in Chad: the Case of the Tripoli Accord’ in. Peace Agreements and Durable Peace in Africa, Pietermaritzburg: University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, pp. 85-126. (co-edited)
  • 2016: ‘The UN, the Idea of Development: Between Dissensus and Consensus’ in From the MDGs to Development Agenda 2030, Pretoria: Africa Institute. (co-edited)
  • 2016: ‘The SA Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: An Agenda for Transforming Power Relations’, in From the MDGs to Development Agenda 2030, Pretoria: Africa Institute. (co-edited)
  • 2015: ‘Africanity, Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance: South Africa's African Agenda under Mbeki and Zuma’, in South African Foreign Policy Review, Volume II, Pretoria: AISA. (co-edited)
  • 2015: ‘Principles and Practice: South Africa’s Foreign Policy after two decades’, in South African Foreign Policy Review, Volume II. Pretoria: AISA (co-authored)
  • 2015: ‘South Africa’s Foreign Policy, Principles: An Invitation to Conversations’, in South African Foreign Policy Review, Volume II. Pretoria: AISA. (co-authored)
  • 2015: The Indian Ocean Region and Opportunities for Global South – African Development, in Rumley, D. The Political Economy of Indian Ocean Maritime Africa. Curtin University: Pentagon Press.
  • 2014: ‘Through the Shadow of Death: the ANC’s underground struggle’, Ngcaweni, B. The Future We Chose: Emerging Perspectives on the Centenary of the ANC, Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.
  • 2014: ‘Assessing African Health Governance amid Global Biopolitics’, in Kirton, J.J., Cooper, A.F., Lisk, F. and Besada, H. (eds.). Moving Health Sovereignty in Africa: Disease, Governance, Climate Change, London: Ashgate, pp. 57-84.
  • 2014: ‘The ANC Centenary: Treading the Waters of History’ in Treading the Waters of History: Perspectives on the ANC @100, Pretoria: Africa Institute. (co-edited)
  • 2014: ‘ANC’s “Progressive Internationalism”: A Paradigm of Struggle in International Relations”, in Treading the Waters of History: Perspectives on he ANC @100, Pretoria: Africa Institute. (co-edited)
  • 2013: 'Common Positions as African Agency in International Negotiations,' in African Agency in International Politics. Routledge Studies in African Politics and International Relations. London: Routledge. (co-edited)

2013: ‘South Africa and Southern Africa: a question of leadership,’ FES Research Paper.