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Political Parties in South Africa: Do They Undermine or Underpin Democracy?

Heather Thuynsma, editor
Political Parties in South Africa: Do They Undermine or Underpin Democracy?
ISBN: 978-0-7983-0514-3
2017/232 pages
Distributed for AISA, an imprint of HSRC Press


In the past several years, the dominance of the African National Congress (ANC) has strained South Africa's democracy and tested its institutions. Within that context, the authors of this collection offer a detailed assessment of the health of the country's political party system. 


Heather Thuynsma lectures in political science at the University of Pretoria.


  • Foreword—Holger Dix.
  • Preface—K. Motlanthe.
  • Introduction—H. Thuynsma.
  • Whither the ANC's Dominance? Waning Electoral Dominance, Rising Hegemonic Dominance—N. de Jager and A. Parkin.
  • The Need to Reform the Electoral System in South Africa: A Constitutional Engineering Perspective—A. Venter.
  • Women, the Electoral System, and Political Parties—Y. Sadie.
  • Political Parties and Political Leadership: Sowing Reconciliation or Divisions?—K. Miti.
  • Do Political Parties Still Shift Public Opinion?—M. Harris, S. Fleetwood, and A. Squara.
  • Securing Their Future: Using Election Campaigns to Safeguard the Party System—H. Thuynsma.
  • Political Parties and Their Capacity to Provide Parliamentary Oversight—D.M. Chirwa and P. Ntliziywana.
  • ANC Hegemony: Social and Economic Ramifications for South Africa—R. Naidu and S. Narsiah.
  • The ANC and South Africa's Foreign Policy and Diplomacy—S. Zondi.
  • Moving South Africa Forward ... ?—H. Thuynsma.