Doctoral Degrees (Political Science)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 40
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    Challenges facing anti-corruption mechanisms in dominant party systems: a case study of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, 2004-2019
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Mchunu, Ngqapheli; De Jager, Nicola; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
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    Populism, nativism, and voting behaviour: a global perspective
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Macdonald, Helen; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.; Schulz-Herzenberg, Collette
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The growth of populist parties around the globe and the related shift in voting patterns has been a feature of electoral politics in the last decade. This has occurred alongside increased levels of human migration due to climate change, conflict, economic insecurity, and other factors. Scholarly research demonstrates a close link between nativism and the rise of populism but is focussed on the global North and advanced democracies. However, it is unclear how nativist and populist attitudes are related, and the relative influence of nativism on populist voting is under-examined. Whilst levels of populism and migration are on the rise in the global South, the literature does not pay much attention to this world region. This study seeks to understand the nature of the relationship between nativism and populism through the lens of voting behaviour in both the global North and South. The empirical distinctiveness of the concepts of nativism and populism has already been demonstrated in the global North and the study significantly extends this empirical test to two global South cases. Following on from this, the relative influence of nativist attitudes versus other conventional predictors of populist voting is examined in seven country cases. The analysis includes five advanced democracies from the global North and two developing democracies from the global South. By extending the analysis to South Africa and Colombia, it is possible to examine the extent to which nativism drives populist voting in different world regions both directly and indirectly. Survey research data from the Comparative National Elections Project (CNEP) is used to analyse vote choice for a populist party in the seven country cases during the period 2016 – 2019. Phase one of the research design includes bivariate correlations and factor analysis to examine the empirical distinction between the concepts of populism and nativism in South Africa and Colombia. Phase two includes binary logistic regression to analyse the influence of nativist attitudes versus a range of predictor variables on vote choice for a populist party in each country case. Phase Two also includes partial correlations to ascertain whether nativism plays a direct or indirect role in influencing populist voting. Data analysis reveals that the concepts of nativism and populism are empirically distinct in the global South cases albeit with some variation from the global North cases. Significantly, the data shows that nativism drives populist voting directly in the global North cases together with a range of other predictor variables which differs across countries. The item measuring anti-immigrant sentiment is influential in predicting populist voting in every global North case. However, in the two global South cases, nativism has neither a direct nor indirect influence on populist voting. There are notable differences therefore between the global North and South in terms of the relationship between nativism and populism. These differences can be explained by the interaction between the supply and demand of populism in each case leading to differing experiences of elite mobilisation of the immigration issue, differing electoral systems, differing experiences of societal events (climate, conflict, terror) and differing levels of immigration issue salience. The research findings suggest that to counteract populist growth, mainstream political parties and governments need to focus on improving public trust, government responsiveness, and economic confidence amongst other measures, rather than focusing on short-term strategies like punitive immigration policies. The activation of populist attitudes is dependent on populist actors mobilising around issues like immigration which has flashpoint potential during an election cycle. The study concludes that populist actors in the global South cases have not yet mobilised effectively around this issue, but with increasing South – South migration as well as economic insecurity, the potential exists for a populist explosion in the global South.
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    Exploring Ecological Modernisation in an African Context: The Case of South Africa's E-waste Sector
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Hector, Michael Carl; Lambrechts, Derica; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines the application of ecological modernisation (EM) in the context of an emerging African economy, South Africa. Much like other states in the global South, the South African government has become enamoured with the prospects of bridging the gap between the economy, environment and society. This gap can however be bridged through the achievement of sustainable development. However, as argued in this study, there have been various approaches to the achievement of sustainability. One such approach has been the use of EM as a pathway to sustainable development, which sees the market and technological innovation as being key to the achievement of sustainable and green economies. As argued by this study, the use of EM as a pathway to sustainable development is often found within states that have adopted neoliberal and capitalist ideologies. This study therefore argues that South Africa’s neoliberal macroeconomic policy shift in the post-apartheid years have created an enabling environment for the adoption of EM as an approach to environmental management. The result of this has been the adoption of EM principles within environmental management policies such as the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) and the Waste Act. South Africa is unique in its use of EM, as environmental policy in the country highlights the importance of social and environmental justice concerns. Although the inclusion of social and environmental justice concerns has been important aspects of South Africa’s environmental management policy, these concerns have not been translated into practice. As such, it has been argued that what is evident in the case of South Africa is the application of weak sustainability and weak ecological modernisation. The purpose of this study is therefore to build on existing knowledge regarding ecological modernisation in South Africa. This study argues that the presence of strong EM in environmental policy is not enough and for EM to be considered effective, the realisation of environmental policy imperatives needs to be considered as part of the process. In its assessment of EM in South Africa, this study makes use of extended producer responsibility (EPR) in the management of electronic waste (e-waste) in South Africa. It is argued by this study that in the management of e-waste in South Africa, the implementation of the EPR needs to prioritise social and environmental justice concerns – paramount to the management of waste being the inclusion of waste pickers in decision-making and practice.
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    Voices of social workers on their perceived roles in social protest actions
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Chibaya, Nyasha Hillary; Engelbrecht, L. K.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Social Work.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: From its infancy and throughout its historical development, social work has always been synonymous with the pursuit of human rights and social justice for the most vulnerable. Human rights and social justice are complex and discursive concepts, however, and their interpretation is seldom uniform. Indeed, historically as at present, contention between problem solving and broader social activism persists in the social work arena. This split is best characterised by those who view social work as technical and apolitical, and those who engage with contextual questions. Radical perspectives in social work, unlike conservatives, suggest that social issues should be viewed together within social, political, economic and historical contexts. Proponents of radical social work endorse the development of a critical consciousness that allows for the perception of social and political contradictions. Critical analysis considers social problems experienced by the poor to be a product of unresponsive structures and discriminatory systems. The Global definition of social work acknowledges this, and mandates social workers to engage in social action to attain social change for the vulnerable. Social workers across the globe have been engaging in collective action to defend welfare states for the vulnerable. In South Africa, despite being dubbed the world’s protest capital, and being host to extreme inequality and poverty amongst the poor majority, similar actions by social workers have been scant, if undertaken at all. This has raised serious questions regarding the perceptions of social workers on their roles in social protest actions within South Africa’s social development context. A qualitative research approach was followed to gain an informed understanding of the opinions of social workers regarding their roles in social protest actions. Descriptive, exploratory and instrumental case study research designs were implemented to elicit invaluable reflections from participants. Snowball and purposive sampling was utilised to recruit 27 participants from four sampling cohorts, who were interviewed via semi-structured online and telephonic interviews. Reflexive thematic analysis was utilised to examine the collected data that is presented under three key themes. Notwithstanding the progress that social work has achieved to date in South Africa, the study highlights the need for more and far reaching social work interventions for the poor majority. Macro interventions aimed at untangling the systemic and structural sources of social problems are key to attain social transformation in South Africa. For authentic engagement in social activism for social change, the relationship between social work and the state needs to be reconsidered. Further, because of the inevitability of conflict in efforts towards change, social work institutions need to provide clear protection and support systems that promote the legal and ethical mandate for social workers to engage in activism for the poor majority’s human rights and social justice. Key conclusions and implications for practice suggest that, in determining an informed course of action and role of social workers in social protest actions, they must critically and continually engage with the contextual realities of the poor and vulnerable, the discursive concepts of human rights and social justice, and social work ethics.
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    A feminist assessment of African women’s experiences of wartime sexual violence before the International Criminal Court
    (2022-04) Moussi, Corinne Aurelie; Gouws, Amanda; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first permanent global tribunal aimed at prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and in future the crime of aggression (Rome Statute, 1998: see the preamble). The Court prides itself in participating in the global fight to end impunity and aims to hold those responsible, accountable for their crimes and help prevent these crimes from happening again (Rome Statute, 1998: see the preamble). The ICC correspondingly continues to play a prominent role in tackling impunity for atrocious crimes committed on the African continent. Feminist scholars have argued that as part of their history-making and norm setting function, international criminal tribunals need to acknowledge and de-legitimise sexist and/or misogynistic ideologies that contribute to violence in times of war and peace alike (Grewal, 2015). This study is a feminist engagement with an international criminal institution and aims to reflect the impact of the ICC in its incorporation and consideration of sexual violence as an international crime. It also aims to analyse the ICC’s comprehension and conceptualization of wartime sexual violence and its victims. Feminist security theory and intersectionality guided this study. These theories were crucial for this study for the following reasons: in making sense of African women’s wartime experiences of sexual violence, they foreground gender as a lens of analysis and consequently highlights the diverse roles women play in violent conflicts (as victims, protesters and participants) and gives women agency. Both theories bring attention to neglected factors of discrimination and subjects while accentuating the effects and consequences of wartime sexual violence on women. A qualitative research design undergirded this study, combined with a case study approach. This study used methods such as discourse analysis, and feminist self- reflexivity to engage with the data. The information generated through these methods were utilized in engaging the objectives of the study which are to provide insightful knowledge about African women's experiences of wartime sexual violence and investigate selected caselaw of the ICC, in order to comprehend the institutional discourses which ensue. This study found that the ICC has made some notable progress in terms of moving away from a legacy of historical silence and under-investigation of sexual violence crimes at the international level. While the progress is laudable, more still needs to be done. In spite of its shortcomings, the ICC has the potential to make sense of wartime sexual violence and establishing the link between gender and other factors of discrimination that account for the perpetration of wartime sexual violence.