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The role & importance of democratic political institutions : Zimbabwe's regression towards authoritarianism

dc.contributor.advisorDe Jager, Nicolaen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorJones, Indiana Baronen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-20T09:27:18Z
dc.date.available2015-05-20T09:27:18Z
dc.date.issued2015-04
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96767
dc.descriptionThesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis seeks to advance the understanding of Zimbabwe’s current political situation and how it has regressed towards authoritarianism. The assumption when initially embarking on this research assignment was that Zimbabwe’s political failures over the past three and a half decades since its independence in 1980 could be traced back to its original Constitution – the Lancaster House Constitution of 1979. The research in this thesis is guided by a central question: Has Zimbabwe’s failure to successfully institutionalise democratic institutions, in particular through the 1979 Constitution, contributed to its regression to authoritarianism, despite its initial democratic transition? This question is substantiated by way of four sub-questions: • What processes lead from democratic transition to authoritarianism? • What are the institutional prerequisites for democratic development? • How was Zimbabwe’s Lancaster Constitution negotiated? • Did Zimbabwe’s institutional framework set it up for failure? In order to answer the research questions, a descriptive and exploratory study with emphasis on a case study was conducted by drawing from both secondary as well as primary sources of data. The primary data examined is a compilation of original documents belonging to the late Leo Baron, former Acting Chief Justice of Zimbabwe (1983) and lawyer to Joshua Nkomo. These documents include a personal record and interviews previously conducted in 1983 for the national archives of Zimbabwe between Baron and the state, an original ZAPU document titled Proposals for a settlement in Southern Rhodesia as well as the original Lancaster House Constitution of 1979. This thesis used democratic consolidation as a theoretical framework to assess the processes that lead from democratic transition to authoritarianism as well as the institutional prerequisites for democratic development. By exploring the field of democratic consolidation, the author settled upon two analytical frameworks for this research assignment. The first is that of Kapstein and Converse, who argue that in order for a democracy to be effective the power of the executive needs to be successfully constrained. They contend that if the executive faces sufficient constraints only then is it accountable to the electorate. Secondly, this thesis focuses largely on the institutional framework developed by Dahl, which highlights a set of criteria underlining the political institutions necessary for a country to transition into a successful democracy. The key findings are that, firstly, Zimbabwe’s Lancaster Constitution was not the product of an inclusive and participatory process; instead it has been discovered that the process was one that lacked public participation and thus lacked wider legitimacy. It can thus be argued that the Lancaster House Conference, normally regarded as the platform upon which Zimbabwe’s negotiated transition to majority rule took place, was in fact not a negotiation at all; instead it resembled more of a handover of power with forced implications and unrealistic expectations. And secondly, that the Lancaster Constitution of 1979 did not sufficiently provide for a democratic political institutional framework for democratic development in Zimbabwe. Instead it failed to highlight the importance of, and make provision for, several important independent organs usually responsible for the smooth transition towards democratisation and the eventual consolidation of democracy.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis beoog om ‘n dieper begrip van Zimbabwe se huidige politieke situasie aan te bied, asook die reprogressie na outoritarisme. Die aanvanklike aanname met die begin van hierdie studie was dat Zimbabwe se politieke mislukkings oor die afgelope drie en ‘n half dekades, sedert Zimbabwe se onafhanklikheid in 1980, terugspoor na die oorspronklike Grondwet naamlik – die Lancaster House Grondwet van 1979. Die navorsing in hierdie tesis is deur ‘n sentrale vraag gelei: Het Zimbabwe se mislukking om suksesvol demokratiese instellings te institusionaliseer, in besonder die Grondwet van 1979, bygedrae tot die regressie na outoritarisme, ten spyte van die aanvanklike demokratiese oorgang? Hierdie vraag word gestaaf deur vier sub-vrae: • Watter prosesse is gelei van demokratiese oorgang na outoritarisme? • Wat is die institusionele voorvereistes vir demokratiese ontwikkeling? • Hoe was Zimbabwe se Lancaster Grondwet beding? • Het Zimbabwe se institusionele raamwerk homself vir mislukking opgestel? Om in staat te wees om die bogenoemde navorsingsvrae te beantwoord, was ‘n beskrywende en verkennende studie met die klem op ‘n gevalle studie gedoen, deur data van beide sekondêre sowel as primêre bronne te trek. Die primere data wat geondersoek is, was ‘n samestelling van oorspronklike dokumente uit die besit van oorlede Leo Baron, voormalige Waarnemende Hoof Regter van Zimbabwe en prokureur van Joshua Nkomo. Hierdie dokumente sluit in ‘n persoonlike rekord asook onderhoude gevoer in 1983 vir die nationale argiewe van Zimbabwe tussen Baron en die staat. Hiermee saam volg ‘n oorspronklike ZAPU dokument getiteld Proposals for settlement in Southern Rhodesia asook die oorspronklike Lancaster House Konstitusie van 1979. Hierdie tesis gebruik demokratiese konsolidasie as ‘n teoretiese raamwerk waardeer die prosesse wat gelei het van demokratiese oorgang na outoritarisme, asook die institusionele voorvereistes vir demokratiese ontwikkeling, beoordeel word. Deur die veld van demokratiese konsolidasie te verken, het die outeur haar studie op twee analitiese raamwerke gevestig. Die eerste is die van Kapstein en Converse wat argumenteer dat vir ‘n demokrasie om effektief te wees, moet die mag van die uitvoerder beperk word. Hulle beweer dat slegs indien die uitvoerder voldoende beperkinge het, die kiesers dit as verantwoordelik erken. Tweedens fokus hierdie tesis grootliks op die institusionele raamwerk wat deur Dahl ontwikkel is. Dahl beklemtoon ‘n stel kriteria wat die nodige politieke grondwette vir ‘n land onderstreep om ‘n suksesvolle oorgang na demokrasie te verkry. Die sleutel bevindings is dit, Zimbabwe se Lancaster Grondwet was nie die produk van ‘n insluitende en deelnemende proses nie; in stede was dit bevind dat dit ‘n proses was van gebrekkige publieke deelname en dus het weier legitimiteit ontbreek. Daar kan dus geargumenteer word dat die Lancaster House Konferensie, wat normaalweg beskou is as die platform waarop Zimbabwe se oorgang tot meerderheid oorheers geonderhandel is, was in werklikheid nooit ‘n onderhandeling nie; instede blyk dit meer in gestalte na ‘n oorhandiging van mag met geforseerde implikasies en onrealistiese vereistes. Tweedens, dat die Lancaster Grondwet van 1979 nie daarin voldoen het om ‘n suksesvolle politieke institutionele raamwerk vir demokratiese ontwikkeling in Zimbabwe neer te lê nie. Eerder het dit daarin misluk om die belangrikheid van verskeie onafhanklike noodsaaklike organe uit te lig, of te voorsien, wat normaalweg verantwoordelik is vir ‘n gladde oorgang tot demokrasie en uit eindelik konsolidasie van demokrasie.af_ZA
dc.format.extentxii, 93 pages
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectAuthoritarianism -- Zimbabween_ZA
dc.subjectZimbabwe -- Politics and government -- 1980-en_ZA
dc.subjectDemocracy -- Zimbabween_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.titleThe role & importance of democratic political institutions : Zimbabwe's regression towards authoritarianismen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA


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