South Africa and political change : an analysis of selected studies of South African politics

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

To a political scientist the irresistible of trying to explain and understand a conflict society which is generally characterised in the world as historically anachronistic, politically untenable, economically wasteful and morally unacceptable. It is common cause that South Africa will change. What are the likely ways in which the conflict will be resolved, and which is most likely? These are the questions to which this thesis will attempt to provide answers: it is an effort to determine, as far as possible, the nature, direction and pace of change in South Africa, as seen by a selected group of recent studies of South African politics. The method will be to test the validity of the respective positions on this and related issues embedded in the selected studies of South African politics. Part II, the major part of the work, therefore, is an examination of the explicit or implicit assumptions and values, the conceptual and theoretical frameworks, the use of evidence, the existence of counter evidence, the omissions, inconsistencies and conclusions of various studies of South Africa, in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each as explanations of the political, social and economic process. In the course of the examination, an alternative analysis of the issues will be presented and defended. A synopsis of the analysis will be given in Part III. This will be used as a means for testing the analyses of the selected studies, before selecting what is valid in all of them in terms of providing possible answers to the questions posed about the resolution of conflict.

Bibliography: p. 217-229.