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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Trends in party-political opposition in South Africa - ideological constraints on policy and strategy
Author:Booysen, SusanISNI
Periodical:Politeia: Journal for Political Science and Public Administration
Geographic term:South Africa
Subject:opposition parties
Abstract:Opposition parties in South Africa are challenged by the reality of a powerful ANC in government. The National Party (NP), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Democratic Party (DP), the PAC, the Freedom Front (FF), the Conservative Party (CP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) were ideologically tested by their relocation into a multiparty democracy. Three influences helped shape opposition in the era of transition and new democracy (1990-1997): consensus on liberal democracy and its criteria of participation, unanimity on liberal capitalism, and the constrained use of ethnonationalist mobilization. This consensus is associated with three tiers of strategic appeals in opposition to the ANC: alternatives on policy implementation; limited identity-based mobilization; and internal reorganization and realignment. A periodization of opposition politics distinguishes the years of constitutional negotiations; the election period of 1993-1994; the period of power-sharing in the Government of National Unity; and the disintegration and realignment of opposition parties. The analytical framework encompasses strategic background; turning points; strategies and tactics; and weaknesses and achievements. Three factors impacted on the capacity of parties to pose effective opposition: ideological impoverishment; strategic limitation; and the legacy of apartheid and ethno-radicalism. Bibliogr., sum.