The birth and the existence of Lesotho: A diplomatic lesson

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Pheko, Kutloano
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
The dissertation will focus on the birth and present state of existence of Lesotho, as a nation state, a state inside another state, looking at how diplomacy is at the centre of all this. The research will examine the history of South Africa and the events that led to the emergence of a territory that became a chiefdom known as Basutoland (land of the Basuto/Basotho people) and, ultimately, became the kingdom of Lesotho. While traits of contemporary diplomacy have been reported to have originated in Europe, Lesotho’s birth and existence are directly pinned to a very robust and carefully articulated form of diplomacy, which saw the country emerging out of the dark ages into a modern sovereign state. As a result, it became a wonder, not only to its inhabitants, but also to onlookers, researchers, and academics alike. Lesotho’s continued existence continues to baffle many people - “How did you become a country inside another country”. The answer lies deep within the history of Southern Africa, where diplomacy played a very dominant and critical role. This dissertation will review these events, approaches, and strategies that Lesotho applied.