Democratic consolidation : a comparative study of Botswana and South Africa : which is the most consolidated and why?

Mukhara, Clive Sello (2004-12)

On cover: Degree of Master of Philosophy in Political Management.

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Before a country can have democracy a consolidated democracy, democracy is a prerequisite. The term democracy can be traced back to ancient Greece and the studies of the consolidation of democracy dates since the transition of the seventies. The notion of democratic consolidation has been defined by authors as a process of making new democracies secure, deepening institutions and liberties and making them immune against the threat of authoritarian regression. But authors have also found that there are socioeconomic conditions favourable to consolidation such as sufficient affluence. This study compares Botswana and South Africa's democracy, the reason being to find out which is the most consolidated and why? To compare these two countries' democracies, the study focuses on the following; affluence, institutions suitable for democracy, free and fair elections and electoral systems. There are similarities and differences between these countries. They share British parliamentary traditions. Both practice multiparty elections but neither experienced turnovers, for example; Botswana started practicing from 1965 until now, while South Africa started in 1994. The major institutional difference is the electoral system. Their ratings in the human development indexes are declining, but South Africa scores better. The other major difference is in their Freedom House ratings, where South Africa's rating is better than Botswana's. The issue of HIV/AIDS infections remains a big problem for these countries. To what extent this would impact on democracy is uncertain as little research of this kind has been done. In concluding this study, it is explicitly stated that these countries are free electoral democracies but not consolidated yet, because they have not passed Huntington's "two turnover test", and their socio-economic conditions are also problematic. At this stage, however South Africa is slightly better off for the reasons cited above.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Demokrasie is "n voorvereiste vir "n gekonsolideerde demokrasie. Hoewel die term demokrasie sy oorsprong het by die antieke Grieke dateer studies oor die konsolidasie van demokrasieë slegs terug na die sewentigerjare van die 20ste eeu. Demokratiese konsolidasie verwys na die proses waarvolgens nuwe demokrasieë na hul aanvanklike vestiging teen die gevaar van outoritêre verval beveilig word deur die daarstelling van demokratiese instellings en vryhede. Navorsing het bevind dat sekere sosio-ekonomiese faktore of omstandighede soos byvoorbeeld voldoende ekonomiese voorspoed die konsolidasie van jong demokrasieë bevorder. Die studie behels "n vergelyking van die demokrasieë van Suid-Afrika en Botswana ten opsigte van hulle graad van demokratiese konsolidasie en die redes daarvoor. Die studie fokus in die verband op aspekte soos: ekonomiese voorspoed, die demokratiese aard van hulle instellings, vrye en regverdige verkiesings en hulle kiesstelsels. Daar is beide ooreenkomste en verskille tussen die twee state. Beide is gesetel in die Britse parlementêre stelsel. Beide gebruik sedert hulle vestiging as demokrasieë veelparty vekiesings - Botswana sedert 1965 en Suid-Afrika sedert 1994. Die belangrikste institusionele verskil is in hulle kiesstelsels geleë. Hoewel die lande se klassifikasies beide in die indekse sowel as die verslae oor menslike ontwikkeling daal, vaar Suid-Afrika steeds beter as Botswana. Die duidelikste verskil is ten opsigte van hulle Freedom House klassifikasie. Die kwessie van MIVjVIGS-infeksies bly steeds "n belangrike probleem vir beide state. Vanweë die gebrek aan navorsing in die verband is dit onseker in watter mate die VIGS-kwessie demokrasie in die lande in die toekoms gaan beinvloed. Die gevolgtrekking van die tesis is dat hoewel beide state vrye demokrasieë is hulle nog nie as gekonsolideerde demokrasieë geklassifiseer kan word nie. Die gevolgtrekking is hoofsaaklik gebaseer op hulle problematiese sosioekonomiese omstandighede en die feit dat hulle nog nie Huntington se /I two turnover test" geslaag het nie. Suid-Afrika is egter op grond van die redes wat hierbo aangevoer is, tans beter as Botswana daaraan toe.

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