Article from ROAPE Volume 21 Number 60
Ethnicity & Democratization in South Africa
The global proliferation of communal conflicts has its parallel in South Africa where the end of apartheid produced new demands for the recognition of group rights and ethnic interests. These run directly counter to the insistence of the ANC and its allies on a secular democracy based on equality of citizenship. Ethnic conflict, and particularly the violence in KwaZulu/Natal, has led to a renewal of interest in the study of ethnicity, particularly in problems related to its definition and to its nature in the South African context. Such issues raise questions about the role played by ethnicity in contemporary politics and about its place in the process of democratisation. Although the renewed interest in ethnicity is timely, questions exist about the extent to which ethnic claims in South Africa have widespread support, or represent evidence of the resurgence of ethnicity rather than the assertiveness of heavily-armed political machines. Discusses: Ethnicity and Marxism; The elements of ethnicity; The politicisation of ethnicity; Reinventing ethnicity under apartheid; Inkatha and the politics of Zulu ethnicity; Ethnicity and democracy in South Africa.