SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

To analyze Nelson Mandela's personal attributes relevant to peacemaking and negotiation, the study considers personality traits derived from biographical data rather than quantitative content analysis. Since Mandela's personality eludes ready characterization in terms of high or low levels of a given trait and also comprises traits apparently in tension, the analysis offered here highlights ostensibly opposing characteristics, and the evolution of Mandela's personal characteristics over time, with specific attention to his self-identity, interpersonal orientation, and political outlook. It identifies distinctive aspects of Mandela's peacemaking practice, as well as aspects that may be common among accomplished peacemakers and negotiators. It concludes that Mandela's seemingly contradictory personality traits and high degree of cognitive complexity enabled him to fulfill the different roles of partisan negotiator and of mediator/peacemaker, and equipped him, more so than other revolutionaries, for the transition to post-liberation leader.