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Pass or Fail?

Assessing the Quality of Democracy in South Africa

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Victoria Graham

In recent years, growing concerns over the strength of South Africa’s democracy appear to indicate a population increasingly disillusioned and dissatisfied with the quality of its implementation. This book assesses the quality of democracy in South Africa after 20 years of democracy in order to ascertain whether or not this growing perception is valid. Since the inception of democracy in 1994 there have been countless procedural and substantive improvements in addressing historically entrenched political, social and economic problems; however, there are serious issues that have emerged relating to the quality of democratic implementation in South Africa. Two existing analytical frameworks of democracy assessment, International IDEA’s State of Democracy framework and Leonardo Morlino’s tool for empirical research on democratic qualities, TODEM, are utilised to assess the quality of South Africa’s rule of law and institutional capacity; representative and accountable government; civil society and popular participation; and freedom and equality after 20 years of democracy. The book concludes cautiously that while South Africa faces many serious and threatening potholes in the road to a fully successful democracy, there is nevertheless much to applaud.

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Acknowledgements ................................................................................ 9 List of Tables ......................................................................................... 11 List of Figures ....................................................................................... 13 List of Abbreviations ............................................................................ 15 Foreword ............................................................................................... 19 Chapter One. Introduction ................................................................. 23 1.1. Introduction and Background .............................................. 23 1.2. A brief background of the value of democracy to Africans .................................................... 24 1.3. Purpose of the book: Auditing democracy .......................... 28 1.4. A review of the literature ..................................................... 31 1.5. Description and justification of research methods to be employed ...................................................... 36 1.6. Conceptualisation ................................................................ 40 1.7. The structure of this book .................................................... 53 Chapter twO.The ‘Quality’ of Democracy: Theoretical Explanation and Framework for Assessment .................................... 55 2.1. Introduction ......................................................................... 55 2.2. Assessing the ‘quality’ of democracy .................................. 55 2.3. Identifying dimensions or qualities of democracy .............. 64 2.4. Defining dimensions and other important terminology ....... 75 2.5. Conclusion ........................................................................... 89 Chapter three. Pillar One: The Rule of Law and Institutional Capacity ................................................................... 95 3.1. Introduction ......................................................................... 95 3.2. The rule of law and access to justice ................................... 96 83.3. Security of the individual .................................................. 126 3.4. Institutional and administrative capacity ........................... 141 3.5. Presence of corruption ....................................................... 147 3.6. Conclusion ......................................................................... 157 Chapter FOur. Pillar Two: Representative and Accountable Government ........................................................................................ 161 4.1. Introduction ....................................................................... 161 4.2. Free and fair elections ....................................................... 162 4.3. Democratic role of political parties ................................... 181 4.4. Effective and responsive government ............................... 199 4.5. Inter-institutional (horizontal) accountability ................... 204 4.6. Conclusion ......................................................................... 222 Chapter Five. Pillar Three: Civil Society and Popular Participation ........................................................................ 227 5.1. Introduction ....................................................................... 227 5.2. The media in a democratic society .................................... 228 5.3. Political participation ........................................................ 267 5.4. Conclusion ......................................................................... 287 Chapter Six. Pillar Four: Freedom and Equality ........................... 291 6.1. Introduction ....................................................................... 291 6.2. Civil rights ......................................................................... 292 6.3. Existence of discriminations ............................................. 314 6.4. Political rights ................................................................... 326...

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