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oa Africa Insight - South Africa: A democratic future?

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804

 

Abstract

Speculation and debate about the political complexion of what is sometimes politely referred to as ""post- apartheid South Africa"" have become almost de rigueur in the local media, both popular and academic. Authors of a conservative persuasion often focus on the imperatives generated by ideas about ""group identity and survival"", historical yet powerfully emotive concepts which appear to lend substance to the nebulous, atavistic fears of South Africa's beleaguered white minorities. Such concerns also provide some sort of psychological underpinning for the electorate's acceptance of the continued domination of national politics by a narrowly-defined, essentially tribal, oligarchy. At what is conventionally perceived as the other end of the political spectrum, one encounters writers or ""activists"" who have been seduced by the allure of ""people's power"" or ""people's democracy"" - which, translated into practice, often refers to a system of democratic centralism in which the apparatchiks of the vanguard party invoke the common will of a mythical ""people"" to justify their own control of a monolithic state.

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/content/afrins/17/1/AJA02562804_825
1987-01-01
2019-10-14

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