Political polarization in post-apartheid South Africa
Klerk, L.A.M. de
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis analyses South African national politics in the period from 1994 to 2016 to examine if 'de-ethnicization' of politics has led to reduced political salience of race. After discussing the main theories for political design in deeply divided societies, the thesis applies Simonsen his methodology to the case of post-apartheid South Africa. The constitutional and electoral design are examined and the author argues that these have, to a large extent, led to de-ethnicization of politics. Furthermore, the importance of race in national politics is analyzed using both quantitative data on voting behavior and party affiliation, and qualitative data from campaigns for national elections in the period from 1994-2016. The case study shows that de-ethnicization of politics can be suitable for post-conflict divided societies and that it can contribute to reduced political polarization along dividing lines in the long run.