The FW de Klerk Foundation is excited to welcome Mr. John Aranzales, Columbian Political Science doctoral candidate and Fulbright Scholar on board as a research intern for the next two months.

The University of Missouri student is pursuing his research interests of conflict resolution mechanisms; cabinet instability in presidential systems; and interdisciplinary peace-building approaches.

“Considering the leadership and work done by President FW de Klerk in South Africa, with this internship I hope to learn details about his personality and thoughts about the future of South Africa,” he shares. “I am aware that he was one of the key players in the dismantling of the apartheid regime, mainly in setting the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. However, I want the opportunity to know and learn from his words – stated in speeches and official announcements – about the different topics that he considered relevant to the future of South Africa, such as education, equality, the relevance of the constitution, and the rule of law and property rights – among other topics,” he continues. 

During his internship, Mr. Aranzales will engage with some of the key players who worked with former President FW de Klerk through the transition era in order to get a better understanding of his thinking concerning South Africa’s future under a new democratic dispensation.

“As a political scientist, I am very interested in understanding and explaining the use of Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in transitional societies in the Global South,” he explains. “I want to explain the relevance of democratic rules in solving complex issues such as intrastate conflicts in layman’s terms.”

Aranzales is currently assisting in the FW de Klerk Foundation archive, and we are grateful not only for the support, but also to be able to assist him in reaching his educational and career objectives.