Rethinking reconciliation: Evidence from South Africa by Kate Lefko-Everett
The first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994 marked the end of more than 40 years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity has begun the process of bringing…
Rethinking reconciliation synopsis
The first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994 marked the end of more than 40 years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity has begun the process of bringing together this highly divided society through the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
However, it appears that interest in and responsibility for the reconciliation project - first embodied by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - has faded over more than two decades of democracy. The narrow mandate of the Commission itself has been criticized retroactively, and it is clear that deep divisions remain: the gap between the rich and the poor is wider than ever; the public is drawn to questions about the response and the restoration of the memorial; incidents of racial violence and hate speech continue.
This edited volume uses a decade of public opinion data to answer these key questions about progress in reconciliation in South Africa. Leading sociologists analyze longitudinal data from the South African Barometer Reconciliation Survey (SARB) carried out annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation since 2003, as well as questioning them and reaching critical conclusions on the state of reconciliation, including in the areas of economic transformation, race relations and communication Social participation and the formation of national identity and transitional justice. Their findings confirm both the theory of reconciliation and social change and its disruption, and point to new critical directions in thinking and policy implementation..
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