In this volume, fifteen contributors from the disciplines of law, politics and sociology reflect on South Africa’s transition to democracy and the challenges of transformation and nation-building that have confronted the country since the first democratic elections of 1994. The range of topics covered is expansive, in keeping with a broader than usual definition of transitional justice which, it is argued, is more appropriate for states faced with the mammoth tasks of reform and institution-building in a context in which democracy has never been firmly rooted and the existence of widespread poverty gives rise to the dual demands for both bread and freedom.
In the case of South Africa, the post-apartheid era has been characterised by wide-ranging attempts at transformation and nation-building, from the well-known Truth and Reconciliation Commission to reforms in education and policing, the promotion of women’s rights, the reform of land law, the provision of basic services to hundreds of thousands of poor households, a new framework for freedom of expression, and the transformation of the judiciary. In the light of South Africa’s commitment to a new constitutional dispensation and to legal regulation, this volume focuses in particular, but not exclusively, on the role that law and lawyers have played in social and political change in South Africa in the post-apartheid era. It sets the South African experience in historical and comparative perspective and considers whether any lessons may be learnt for the field of transitional justice.
Chapter 2. Reflections on Post-Apartheid Nation-Building: Identity, Participation, Community (p. 41)
Chapter 3. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Process: A Retrospective (p. 65)
Chapter 4. Rights at Work: The Transition to Constitutional Democracy and Women in South Africa (p. 91)
Chapter 5. Crime, Policing and Nation-Building (p. 123)
Chapter 6. Public Schools for Afrikaners in South Africa (p. 139)
Chapter 8. The Transformation of the Judiciary (p. 199)
Chapter 9. Assessing the Social Transformation Performance of the South African Constitutional Court: From Totalitarianism to the Rule of Law (p. 223)
Chapter 11. The South African Presidency in Comparative African Context (p. 257)
Chapter 12. Aspects of the Treatment of Freedom of Expression in South Africa’s Democratic Transition (p. 281)
Chapter 13. Constitutionalism in Commonwealth Africa: Comparative Perspectives (p. 313)
Countries emerging from long periods of authoritarian rule must often confront a legacy of gross human rights abuses perpetrated over many years. During the past two decades, these age-old issues have been termed “problems of transitional justice”, both by academics and policy makers around the world. Given the frequency with which these problems arise, as well as the complexity of the issues involved, it is striking that no book series has taken the issue of transitional justice as its point of focus.
The Series on Transitional Justice offers a platform for high-quality research within the rapidly growing field of transitional justice. This research is, of necessity, inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing from disciplines such as law, political science, history, sociology, criminology, anthropology and psychology, as well as from various specialised fields of study such as human rights, victimology and peace studies. It is furthermore international in outlook, drawing on the knowledge and experience of academics and other specialists in many different regions of the world.
The series is aimed at a variety of audiences who are either working or interested in fields such as crime and justice; human rights; humanitarian law and human security; conflict resolution and peace building. These audiences may include academics, researchers, students, policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and the media.
- Prof. S. Parmentier (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Prof. Elmar Weitekamp (University of Tübingen, Germany)
- Prof. Jeremy Sarkin (NOVA University of Lisbon School of Law) and
- Mina Rauschenbach (Université de Lausanne and University of Leuven) (Associate editor)
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