The unfinished business of democratic consolidation

210mm X 148mm
In print
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Former liberation movements in Southern Africa have become authoritarian and elitist governments who reward party loyalty and are hostile to ‘outsiders’.

Is authoritarianism built into liberation structures? Is it inherited from colonial systems? Is liberal democracy inherently elitist? Popular support for the struggle was often based on mystification, coercion and the manipulation of internal contradictions; while in contrast, independence by negotiation has lead to multi-party democracies.

This ground-breaking collection of essays on Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa opens a long-awaited debate on these and other related issues.

Edited by Namibian and former SWAPO activist Henning Melber, currently Research Director of the Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden, its contributors include Kenneth Good, Ian Taylor, Francis Nyamnjoh, Amin Kamete, Suzanne Dansereau, Roger Southall, Martin Legassick, Raymond Suttner and Krista Johnson.

The volume is compiled by the HSRC Democracy & Governance Research Programme in association with the Journal of Contemporary African Studies and the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University

Table of contents:
List of tables
List of figures

Henning Melber

1 Democracy and the Control of Elites
Kenneth Good

2 Liberation and Opposition in Zimbabwe
Suzanne Dansereau

3 In Defense of National Sovereignty?
Urban Governance and Democracy in Zimbabwe
Amin Kamete

4 As Good as It Gets?
Botswana’s ‘Democratic Development’
Ian Taylor

5 Chieftaincy and the Negotiation of Might and Right in Botswana Democracy
Francis B. Nyamnjoh

6 Between Competing Paradigms: Post-Colonial Legitimacy in Lesotho
Roger Southall

7 From Controlled Change to Changed Control: The Case of Namibia
Henning Melber

8 Armed Struggle in South Africa: Consequences of a Strategy Debate
Martin Legassick

9 Culture(s) of the African National Congress of South Africa: Imprint of Exile Experiences
Raymond Suttner

10 Liberal or Liberation Framework? The Contradictions of ANC Rule in South Africa
Krista Johnson


Suzanne Dansereau is Assistant Professor in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Kenneth Good is Professor in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Botswana in Gaborone.

Krista Johnson is Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Amin Kamete is a researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. Previously he was senior lecturer in the Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, Harare.

Martin Legassick is Professor in the Department of History, University of the Western Cape and co-ordinator of the South African Democracy Education Trust (SADET) Project.

Henning Melber is a Research Director at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden.

Francis Nyamnjoh is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Botswana in Gaborone.

Roger Southall is Executive Director in the Democracy and Governance research programme of the HSRC in Pretoria, South Africa.

Raymond Suttner is the manager of the ‘Hidden Histories’ publishing series of the University of South Africa (UNISA) Press in Pretoria.

Ian Taylor is a lecturer in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Botswana and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.