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South Africa Factors for and against democracy: –Moderate level of development –Highly unequal society –History of labor coercive practices.

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Presentation on theme: "South Africa Factors for and against democracy: –Moderate level of development –Highly unequal society –History of labor coercive practices."— Presentation transcript:

1 South Africa Factors for and against democracy: –Moderate level of development –Highly unequal society –History of labor coercive practices

2 General backdrop: Apartheid Established in 1948 with coming to power of National Party Three parts: –Political: complete exclusion of non-whites from political process. –Economic: use of coercive means to keep wages of non-whites low. –Social: physical separation of races.

3 General backdrop: Apartheid But, economic and social goals conflicted: the dependence of whites on non-white labor made segregation difficult.

4 General backdrop: Apartheid Solution: Homelands policy. But, this never really worked. Africans came to the cities anyway.

5 Timeline of African Response 1912: Formation of ANC 1950s: Initial response to apartheid –Freedom Charter (1955): non-racial democracy, mild socialism. –Sporadic peaceful protests. –State response: ban ANC, jail leaders –Why so easy to contain? Small urban population.

6 Timeline of African Response 1960s: Quiet decade of economic growth –Urban African populations grew (and grew!) –Flourishing of civil society in African areas

7 Timeline of African Response 1970s: –New organizations, political movements Young people influenced by Black Consciousness Civics Trade Unions –Economic slowdown –Renewed protest: 1976 riots in Soweto, spread to rest of country. –Much harder for the state to contain.

8 Timeline of African Response P.W. Botha liberalizes the unions in 1978: – The hope: this will moderate the conflict. – The reality: Unions (COSATU) initiate wave after wave of protest in early 80s. United Democratic Front (UDF) forms, contributes to mass insurrection. South Africa: “ungovernable” by 1986.

9 Timeline of African Response Mid 1980s: Economic Crisis –Worker productivity down –Massive capital outflows –IMF cuts off loans South African capitalists: Apartheid not worth it! Begin pressuring government to negotiate.

10 Negotiations and Love Songs 1990-1993: Hammering out a plan –ANC, NP: Very different notions of what “New” South Africa should look like –Dicey moments, but desire to avoid war kept both parties at the table. –Deal involved compromises for everyone April 1994: Nelson Mandela elected

11 Conclusions Structural factors mattered: –Greater development made protest easier. –Change in interests of economic elite key to initiation of negotiations. However, political factors mattered also: –Economic interests changed because of political protests –Political leadership key at certain critical points.

12 Conclusions Finally, international factors once again very important. Domestic politics cannot tell us the whole story.

13 Extra Office Hours Schedule an appointment with me if you can’t make my office hours. Steve Oliver: 11-1:50 Monday (today!) SSB 328 Lydia Lundgren: 10:30-12:30 Monday (today!) SSB 323 Kai Ostwald: 10:30-11:30 Monday (today!) SSB 326

14 Definition: Ethnic Group Membership determined by descent or ancestry. Ethnic identity is ascriptive: something you are born with instead of something you choose. Members of ethnic groups know and value membership in the group. It has meaning to them.

15 Definition: Ethnic Group Group members share distinguishing cultural features. The group has a shared history, which may be partially invented. Most ethnic group has a homeland, or at least memories of one.

16 Factoids Ethnic identities are quite prevalent. Ethnic identities are only one of many different kinds of collective identities. Other examples: class, occupation, age, gender, hobby, school ties, sports affiliations, etc.

17 Factoids Ethnic identities are distinguished from many other types of identity (esp. economic ones) in that they are less voluntary in nature. But even here, there’s ambiguity.

18 Classic Approaches to Ethnicity Liberalism: –Ethnicity is “morally suspect” because it places groups above individuals. For better or worse, modernization would dissolve ethnic ties, create “new” people unconnected to the old ways. –Fiction: White Teeth by Zadie Smith; Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang

19 Classic Approaches to Ethnicity Marxism: –Ethnicity is epiphenomenal, secondary to deeper forces (i.e. material interests). –Ethnic identifications = false consciousness. –Marxist revolution (Workers of the World Unite!) will end ethnic based thinking.

20 But the reality is... Ethnicity is alive and well in all corners of the globe! Developed countries: anti-immigrant parties in Europe, separatist movements in Spain and Canada, minority mobilizations in US.

21 But the reality is... Former communist countries of Eastern Europe: many new ethnic mobilizations. Developing countries: economic development fuels ethnic mobilization. Since the end of the Cold War, the world has seen a series of destructive wars in which ethnicity has played some role.

22 Primordialism Ethnic identities are more fundamental than other types of identitity. Ethnicity is not subject to rational cost/benefit calculations. It belongs to the realm of emotion. Ethnicity is immutable, unchangeable, fixed.

23 Primordialism Ethnic mobilizations are motivated by expressive not instrumental needs. –Participation is related to our search as human beings for security in an insecure world. –Individual self esteem is a function of group position. –More about expressing belonging than further self interest. Conflict based on ethnicity is inevitable, persistence is a given.

24 Instrumentalism Ethnic identities are not more fundamental or powerful than other types of identity. Ethnicity is fluid. Individuals have multiple identities, these identities shift according to context.

25 Instrumentalism Mobilization is about getting something. People join ethnic movements when there is a pay-off to doing so. Furthermore, when it is useful to them, they may even invent new identities. Ethnicity leads to conflict when someone has something to gain from going to war.

26 Instrumentalism Persistence? As long as ethnicity is a useful way of organizing people, it will persist.

27 Critiques of each theory? Primordialism: –Empirically, identities do appear to shift according to context. –If conflict is so inevitable, how do you explain long periods of peace? And why are most multiethnic societies peaceful?

28 Critiques of each theory? Instrumentalism: –How do we explain the intensity and emotional quality of ethnic bonds? –Ethnic conflict may be instrumental for leaders, but it rarely is for followers. How do we explain their behavior?

29 What is civil conflict? Examples: civil war, rebellions, insurrections, political revolutions, social revolutions, genocides. Definition: sustained armed conflict within a state that involves large numbers of people either as participants or as victims.

30 “State” versus “Society” Society: basic social forces and groups, the population at large and how it is structured and organized. State (review): the set of permanent institutions and structures of authority in a country.

31 “State” versus “Society” What is the relationship between them? –State is a mirror that reflects society. Politics is a function of social forces alone. –State is not just a mirror: it exerts an independent effect out outcomes. We can’t just look at society to understand politics! Have to look at state too.

32 Society-Based “Bottom Up” Misery breeds revolt: civil conflict is a function of the level of grievance in the population. Variants: –Ethnic group hatreds –Extreme poverty and deprivation –Unfulfilled expectations (economic crisis)

33 Political Entrepreneurs Grievance alone is insufficient to produce war. Politicians provide the spark that converts grievance into action. Motivations of politicians vary from idealism to personal gain.

34 Political Entrepreneurs Articulate existing grievances, sometimes even accentuating them. May not be enough: collective action problems may prevent people with common grievances from acting together. Examples: free-rider problem, first-mover problem.

35 Free Rider Problem There are gains to collective action. No one can be excluded from these gains, even if they didn’t take part in the action. High personal costs to taking part. Individual rationality: don’t participate, don’t pay costs, yet capture benefits. “Free-ride.” Everyone free-rides, no collective action, no collective benefits.

36 First Mover Problem Risks for collective action are highest for those who act first. Once everyone else is acting, then risks decline. “Safety in numbers.” But who will go first? An action may be highly desirable by everyone, but may never occur because no one is willing to take the first step.

37 Political Entrepreneurs Politicians help people overcome collective action problems: –Provide selective benefits to participation (to overcome free-riding problem) –Throw the first stones (to overcome first- mover problem)

38 State Centric “Top Down” Grievances (even grievance organized by politicians) is insufficient for explaining civil conflict. State factors are key: are the state’s coercive organizations coherent and effective? If yes, grievances are never allowed to flower.

39 Strengths/Weaknesses Bottom-up approach –Pros: explains why ordinary people might participate in conflict. –Cons: Can’t explain why grievances persist for long periods of time without producing conflict.

40 Strengths/Weaknesses Political entrepreneurs approach: –Pros: Better at explaining timing. –Cons: Why do people follow politicians into war? When do politicians see war as a better option than working within institutions?

41 Strengths/Weaknesses State centric approach –Pros: Can better explain incentives of political leaders. –Cons: State weakness is insufficient for explaining violence. Many weak states never experience civil conflict.


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