Demokratiese konsolidasie in Afrika : 'n vergelykende studie tussen Botswana en Mauritius

Slabbert, Nica-Elize (2006-12)

Thesis (MA (Political Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Botswana and Mauritius have been operating as stable, multi-party democracies since their independence, in 1966 and 1968 respectively. It is unclear, however, which country is the most consolidated democracy. Therefore, this study compares Botswana and Mauritius, using specific criteria as developed by writers such as Huntington (1991), Linz and Stepan (1996), Przeworski (1996) and Schedler (1998 and 2001) to determine which country is the most consolidated democracy. The criteria used to determine the most consolidated democracy, can broadly be subdivided as follows. Firstly, institutions impacting on democratic consolidation, and the presence of these institutions in Botswana and Mauritius will be studied, such as the rule of law; whether the respective countries are characterised by a system of Presidentialism or Parliamentarianism; the electoral system used; whether elections are competitive, free and fair, and whether these elections resulted in a peaceful change in political power; the presence of a usable state bureaucracy; and lastly, the rankings by Freedom House will be used to determine to what extent citizen political and civil rights are protected and guaranteed. Secondly, the socio-economic factors impacting on the erosion or deepening of democratic consolidation will be studied, with the focus on trends since independence. These factors include the existence of an economic society; per capita income; economic growth and inflation; as well as inequality reduction within the respective countries. Lastly, the social conditions influencing democratic consolidation will also be studied, such as ethnic homogeneity or heterogeneity; the prevalence and size of the middle class as influenced by urbanization and adult literacy; and lastly, the prevalence and role of civil society. Botswana and Mauritius were compared using the above criteria. This study comes to the conclusion that Mauritius is the most consolidated democracy. The following findings support the conclusion that Mauritius is the most consolidated democracy. Mauritius is a rechtsstaat, whilst Botswana is not. In Mauritius, there is a distinction between the position of Head of State and Head of Government, in contrast to the extensive power given to the President in Botswana. There is no single dominant party in Mauritius, whilst the political sphere in Botswana is characterised by the dominance of the BDP since independence. The FPTP electoral system in Mauritius is supplemented by the BLS, in an effort to ensure sufficient representation to minority groups in the National Assembly, whilst Botswana only uses the FPTP electoral system. Elections in Mauritius are considered to be competitive, free and fair, whilst the fairness of Botswana’s elections, given the electoral system, have been questioned. Mauritius also passes Huntington’s Two Turnover test, as there have been three changes in political power, whilst the BDP in Botswana have won every election since independence. Mauritius’ position on the HDI is much better than the position of Botswana, and the consociational compromises agreed upon in Mauritius resulted in a social environment which assists democratic consolidation. Lastly, Mauritius is also characterised by a lively civil society, whilst civil society in Botswana is considered to be a-political and weak.

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