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Pass or Fail?

Assessing the Quality of Democracy in South Africa


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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The author would like to acknowledge and thank Professor Yolanda Sadie, Professor Leonardo Morlino, the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg for the generous financial support throughout her studies, RISC: Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda, Professors Rory Ryan, Ronel Johl, Lionel Posthumus, Chris Landsberg and Pieter Fourie; Dr Marianne Ulrikssen; Rae Israel, Zelda Geldenhuys; Ms Claudia Forster-Towne; Professor Craig Mackenzie; the author’s family: Mom and dad, twin sister Suzy, Jim, brothers, Antony and Richard and their wives, Ilonka and Robyn, and her nieces and nephews, Rachel, Lucian, Michael, Miska and Isadora and all of the experts interviewed for this study for their time and great insights: Cherrel Africa, Cathi Albertyn, Johan Burger, Frans Cronje, John Daniel, Jackie Dugard, Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi, Ebrahim Fakir, Judith February, Ferial Haffajee, Anton Harber, Janine Hicks, Loren Landau, Kate Lefko-Everett, Phil Mtimkulu, Laurence Piper, Michael Schmidt, Albert Venter and Siphamandla Zondi.

Édith Archambault, Amélie Artis, Marie J. Bouchard, Élisa Braley, Danièle Demoustier, Fiona Duguid, Fabienne Fecher, Paulo Cruz Filho, Luiz Inácio Gaiger, Thomas Guérin, Megan A. Haddock, Akira Kurimoto, Michel Marée, Sybille Mertens, José Luis Monzón, Daniel Rault, Damien Rousselière, Lester M. Salamon, Wafa Ben Sedrine, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Roger Spear, Martin St-Denis, Nicoleta Uzea. ← 9 | 10 →

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