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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - 'n Arabiese Lente in eietydse Suid-Afrika? : geesteswetenskappe

 

Abstract

Sedert die ontstaan van die golf van revolusionêre regimeverandering in Noord-Afrika en die Midde-Ooste in 2010, alombekend as die "Arabiese Lente", was daar spekulasie dat sodanige politieke onstabiliteit ook in ander state van die ontwikkelende wêreld kan posvat. Gegewe die hoë vlakke van sosio-ekonomiese ongelykheid, werkloosheid en armoede in Suid-Afrika, heers daar kommer dat die heersende plaaslike politieke klimaat ook 'n teelaarde vir revolusionêre regimeverandering verteenwoordig. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om, deur middel van 'n literatuurstudie bestaande uit beide empiriese en teoretiese verwysings, die Suid-Afrikaanse politieke konteks te evalueer met inbegrip van die moontlikheid van snelle, revolusionêre regimeverandering soos aangetref tydens die Arabiese Lente in Noord-Afrika en die Midde Ooste. Gevolglik word revolusionêre politieke verandering as teoretiese vertrekpunt eerstens bespreek, tesame met enkele ander begrippe wat van sleutelbelang is tot die ondersoek. Tweedens word empiriese perspektiewe oor die besondere sosio-politieke toestande in die Arabiese streek geëvalueer, met die doel om dryfvere te identifiseer. Derdens word hierdie insigte in die Suid-Afrikaanse toepassingskonteks geëvalueer, waar daar gefokus word op die herkoms van die kontemporêre Suid-Afrikaanse staatsbestel, die onderliggende grondwetlike demokrasie, die ontstaan van 'n post-apartheid regime-dinamiek, ontluikende pretoriaanse tendense, en die plaaslike sosio-ekonomiese omgewing. Ten slotte word daar bevind dat die Suid-Afrikaanse staat en regime fundamenteel andersoortig is as die van die betrokke state van die Arabiese streek, en dat eersgenoemde as 'n verswakkende en disfunksionele staat beskryf kan word, eerder as 'n doeltreffende outoritêre magsapparatus. In teenstelling met die state van die Arabiese streek, waar daar geen ware politieke deelname verdra is nie, word die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks gekenmerk deur hoë vlakke van deelname, waarvan die aard demokraties, maar ook toenemend anti-stelsel georiënteerd ontwikkel. Die afwesigheid van openlike politieke onderdrukking gepaard met deurlopende politieke deelname maak dreigende revolusionêre regimeverandering in die patroon van die Arabiese Lente dus in Suid-Afrika onwaarskynlik, alhoewel geïdentifiseerde parallelle uitdagings in die sosio-ekonomiese kontekste, gepaardgaande met patrone van staatsverval, as nadelig beskou word vir politieke stabiliteit.


This purpose of this article is to evaluate the probability of non-democratic revolutionary regime change in South Africa similar to the Arab Spring which began in 2010. Methodologically, the paper constitutes a theory-driven qualitative analysis that incorporates a reconstruction of the Arab Spring and its socio-political causes and driving forces; an evaluation of the authoritarian regimes of the Arab region and their definitive institutional characteristics; an evaluation of socio-political instability understood through the theory of revolutionary regime change; a description of the contemporary social, economic and political South African contexts; and finally the application of the aforementioned insights with the purpose of inferring the probability of a "South African Spring".
The wave of revolutionary regime change that swept through North Africa and the Middle East in early 2011, commonly known as the Arab Spring, has emerged as one of the defining episodes in the political history of the region. The Arab world, which had historically proven resistant to democratisation, was overwhelmed by unrest and political protest directed at ruling authoritarian regimes. What began in Tunisia with the self-immolation of a vegetable seller spread to other states in the region, including Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Yemen. In the process, the decades-old regimes such as those of Muammar Gudaffi and Hosni Mubarak were toppled, often in a violent and dramatic fashion and well publicised by the international media. The main driver of revolutionary change was similar across all the affected states: tensions emanating from the inability of long-standing authoritarian regimes to manage systemic socio-economic challenges that were exacerbated by the preceding global financial crisis.

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/content/litnet/12/1/EJC172670
2015-04-01
2016-12-04
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