Masters Degrees (Political Science)

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    Analysing the evolution of private military companies in Africa since the 1990s
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Enos, Nina Nana-Ama Adorable; Lamb, Guy; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Security challenges have been a longstanding challenge in many African countries. These challenges can be borne out of ethnical differences, religious extremism, political competition and grievances over governance. It is the state’s responsibility to contain insecurity in its territory. However, many African states fall short of this vital task. A government’s inability to address security challenges in their territory may lead to a crisis of internal and externa ldisplacement of their civilians, which could have ripple effects on neighbouring states and, most importantly, loss of human life. Many African countries experience political instability and violent conflict, which are features of fragile states. Traditionally, when conflicts are triggered, and African states cannot contain them alone, organisations such as the United Nations(UN) assist those nations. However, there has been a shift in how certain African governments respond to security challenges in their countries by hiring Private Military Companies (PMCs). PMCs are businesses that provide military-oriented services to clients. Clients of PMCs range from companies, mines, non-profit organisations, and governments. PMCs such as Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) and the Wagner Group are found across the African continent, operating in Libya, Mali, Mozambique and the Central African Republic (CAR). Even nations such as Nigeria, traditionally regarded as having solid militaries, have employed PMCs. PMCs are often criticised by a wide range of civil society and some governments due to the nature of their work. PMCs are an ever-evolving security apparatus in African conflicts. The two inter-connectedquestions this thesis will address to understand their evolution are ‘Why have certain African governments employed PMCs?’ and ‘How has the involvement of PMCs in African conflicts affectedconflict outcomes? To answer these questions, this study utilises a comparative case study design focusing on four countries that have made use of PMCs. These countries are Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mozambique and the CAR. The primary PMCs discussed in this thesis are Executive Outcomes (EO), Specialised, Task, Training, Equipment and Protection International (STTEP), DAG and the Wagner Group. The study is qualitative desktop research that utilises secondary data. Fragile state theory is used to illustrate how the fragile statehood of certain African states leads to increased engagement with PMCs. Although PMCs are an unconventional and controversial security tool, African governments continue associating themselves with them. This is despite the political implications which may befall them. These companies, much like any other multinational corporation operating in Africa, have their positive and negative contributions where they are active.
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    Choice, consent and owning our bodies: a feminist analysis of the continuities and discontinuities of women’s control over their reproduction from apartheid to democracy in South Africa.
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Odendaal, Inge; Gouws, Amanda; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The oppression of women's reproduction was central to the politics of the apartheid state. The regime regulated sexuality and reproduction, both of black and white women, as part of its population control program for the continuation of white supremacy. However, under this system, racism and abuse of black women were institutionalised, resulting in injustices and abuses committed against black women. After 1994, South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy guaranteed civil and political rights. New laws fortified women's equality and reproductive rights. Twenty-five years after democracy, constraints that limit rights and choice persist. This research project aimed to question the continuities and discontinuities of women's control over their reproduction under apartheid in the post-1994 democratic regime in South Africa.The study used Rosalind Petchesky's work on reproductive freedom and Loretta Ross's work on reproductive justice to help guide its analysis. Reproductive freedom is a concept that asserts women's decisions are impacted by their social and material situations. Reproductive justice takes an intersectional approach to reproductive politics. This perspective emphasises how racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequality affects ability to freely make decisions about their reproduction. The project followed a qualitative methodology and used a case study design. Primary and secondary data were used for this research. This study collected primary data from 5 semi-structured online interviews. This research project used grey literature, news reports, and academic literature. Search strategies included conducting keyword and thematic searches, using search filters, and setting up alerts across academic and government publication databases. Three case studies were chosen: coerced contraception, abortion and conscientious objection, and sterilisation abuse. The first case focuses on coerced contraception. In February 2018, reports surfaced at the Pitso- Letlhogile Secondary School that 18 young women were coerced to accept contraceptive injections (Depo-Provera) by the North West Department of Education. The second case study focuses on abortion access. With the onset of democracy, the Choice of Termination Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996 was enacted, which guarantees the right to access a safe and legal abortion. Yet, many women still opt for backstreet abortions. This chapter examined how conscientious objection and struggles in service delivery impede abortion access. The third case study focuses on sterilisation. In 2020 the Commission for Gender Equality published a report which revealed the cases of 48 women who were forcibly sterilised between 1996 and 2012 in state hospitals. The sterilisations were primarily performed on black women who were HIV positive. Each of the case studies selected, in some way, presented continuity. This research project found despite the systemic differences from apartheid to democracy, the gender inequalities that afflicted impoverished black women during apartheid persisted in the post-1994 democratic regime. Findings from the research show that the shift to democracy has brought about a change in sexual and reproductive health rights along with the expansion of the healthcare system. However, other social and material conditions, such as violence against women, socioeconomic inequality, poor service delivery and conservative attitudes, negate the realisation of these freedoms.
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    A typology of counterinsurgency approaches towards ISIS-Allegiant insurgency groups: variations between the Western States and The Global South
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Hlwatika, Vuyokazi Zintathu Maragaret; Lamb, Guy; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study of counterinsurgency (COIN) is dominated by the experiences of Western states. While there is value in learning about the COIN practices of such states, the COIN strategies employed by these states are not always applicable to states in the Global South. This incompatibility has led to the development of different approaches to COIN. These variations in COIN approaches occur even when states face a similar kind of insurgency threat. One of the most serious types of insurgency threats facing states today is jihadism. While jihadist insurgencies are not new, jihadist insurgent groups have proliferated since the 9/11 attacks and the Global War on Terror (GWOT) that ensued. The most prominent of these groups is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Although ISIS has lost nearly all its territory since its peak years of 2014 – 2017, the group continues to maintain influence over other jihadist groups (Ohlers, 2017). Consequently, many of these smaller groups have since pledged allegiance to ISIS and declared themselves ISIS governorates. For eight consecutive years, ISIS and its affiliates have caused more terrorism related deaths than any other non-state group (IEP, 2022). This study asks the question ‘Why do states take different COIN approaches to ISIS-allegiant insurgency threats?’ In pursuit of an answer, a multiple case study design is used to compare the COIN approaches of the United Kingdom (UK), France, the United States of America (U.S.), Pakistan, Nigeria, and Mozambique. In each case, an analysis of five analytical variables is presented: the state’s history of violent opposition, the nature of violent extremism it faces, the type of government it has as well as of the strength of its regional ties and the influence of prominent international COIN actors. The differences and similarities of these variables across the six states chosen are then categorised and tabulated, resulting in an explanatory typology. This typology uses the research findings to explain why, based on the five analytical variables, states choose different COIN approaches. This study has three aims. First, the study seeks to address the lack of COIN literature on states in the Global South. Second, the study seeks to explain why states make use of different COIN approaches despite facing a similar threat. Third, the study seeks to create an explanatory typology that can be used to other states against the same variable to test its validity. The findings in this study determine that Western states utilise traditional COIN approaches while those in the Global South have forged their own kind of COIN warfare. While the U.S., UK, and France adhere to what this study terms a ‘Colonial/Imperial COIN Model,’ Pakistan and Nigeria make use of a ‘Bargaining Model,’ and Mozambique makes use of an ‘Authoritarian Model.’ Each of these categories is determined by shared similarities within the five analytical variables.
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    Violent protest and social media in liberal democracies: an analysis of the US Capital riot
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Scott, Jean; Steenekamp, Cindy Lee; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gewelddadige betogings is aan die toeneem oor 'n groot deel van die wêreld, en aangesien gewelddadige protes strydig is met demokratiese norme, kan hierdie neiging lei tot demokratiese terugval of selfs dekonsolidasie. Om hierdie tendens te verstaan is dus potensieël van kardinale belang. Aangesien sosiale media voorheen aan gewelddadige protes gekoppel is, is die ondersoek van die rol daarvan in verhouding tot gewelddadige protes in liberale demokrasieë 'n geldige navorsingsweg. As gevolg daarvan, het hierdie studie 'n kwalitatiewe gevallestudie uitgevoer oor die 2021 Bestorming van die VS Kongresgebou om die rol wat sosiale media in die voorval gespeel het te identifiseer, en om hopelik insig te kry in hoe sosiale media 'n faktor kan wees in die voortdurende neiging in gewelddadige protes. Hierdie studie het vier hoofbevindings gemaak met betrekking tot die rol wat sosiale media moontlik in gewelddadige protes in liberale demokrasieë speel. Eerstens kan sosiale media gebruik word om deelname aan protesaksie te organiseer en te mobiliseer, insluitend protes wat gewelddadig kan word. Tweedens kan sosiale media gebruik word om geweld met betrekking tot protesoptrede aan te hits en te legitimeer. Eggokamers en moralisering op sosiale media kan ook moontlik tot geweld tydens protesaksie lei. Derdens kan sosiale media gebruik word om valse narratiewe te versprei wat gewelddadige protesaksie kan motiveer en kan dien om die gebruik van geweld te regverdig. In die nasleep van gewelddadige protesaksie kan valse narratiewe op sosiale media dien om publieke steun vir gewelddadige betogers te skep, wat as 'n uitdaging in hul vervolging kan dien. Vierdens kan sosiale media ook dien as 'n instrument vir wetstoepassing in hul pogings om gewelddadige betogers te identifiseer en te vervolg. Daar is egter ook die potensiaal vir owerhede om sosiale media te misbruik en dele van die bevolking te onderdruk. Die tweede en derde rolle wat sosiale media in gewelddadige protes in liberale demokrasieë kan speel dui daarop dat sosiale media 'n potensiële beduidende faktor in die voorkoms van gewelddadige protesaksie is en 'n beduidende instrument kan wees in pogings om hierdie geweld te regverdig. Dit dui daarop dat sosiale media 'n belangrike faktor kan wees in die oënskynlike voortdurende toename in gewelddadige betogings oor 'n groot deel van die wêreld.
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    Social trust in a divided country: an investigation into the determinants of social trust in South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Dorrington, Georgia; Schulz-Herzenberg, Collette; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Over the past three decades, a significant body of research has emerged on the importance of social trust for societies. Social trust refers to interpersonal trust between citizens and describes the degree to which people feel they can trust citizens they do not know. Research has found greater levels of social trust to be associated with a wide range of desirable societal features, such as stimulating economic growth, improving government performance and increasing citizen general living standard. For decades, South Africa has suffered from a social trust deficit. The 2019 South African Reconciliation Barometer data found that 60% of the population do not actively trust other citizens. Given South Africa's critical need for greater economic growth, improved governance and greater social cohesion, this study investigates the causes of social trust in South Africa to gain greater insight into the country's social trust deficit. To this effect, this study investigates the relationship between South African's levels of social trust and five societal characteristics identified in the global academic literature as key determinants of social trust, including the influences of racial diversity, perceptions of income distribution (inequality), perceptions of government corruption, confidence in institutions, and perceptions of societal fairness on South African levels of social trust. The study employs a quantitative research design to analyse cross-sectional data from the 2019 South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) nationally representative survey to test the relationship between social trust and these explanatory variables. The results of the analysis indicate that South African's confidence in institutions has the strongest influence on social trust levels, followed by the influence of perceptions of income distribution (inequality). By contrast, racial diversity and perceptions of government corruption are found to have little influence on South African's social racial levels The finding that racial diversity has little effect on South Africans' social trust is particularly significant, given the country's history of racism and racial segregation, and because it stands in contrast to the large and well-established body of literature that finds racial diversity erodes social trust. The finding thus suggest that efforts to address South Africa's social trust deficit should focus on increasing citizen confidence in in institutions and addressing the high levels of income inequality in South Africa. However, given the dire and deteriorating state of South Africans' institutional confidence and the country's high level of income inequality it remains unlikely that these conditions will improve social trust. Further research on potential measures and reforms that could address these issues will be vital for improving social trust.