Building democracy in the new South Africa: civil society, citizenship and political ideology
This consideration of the task of building a ?non?racial, non?sexist democracy? in South Africa combines historical experience, political theory and survey results to which an organisational participation, democratic commitment, party allegiance and a sense of citizenship exist together in forms able to support a process of democratisation. In consequence, the author suggests that there are serious hazards inherent in either the liberal or Gramscian models of democratic development. On the one hand, Gramsci's idea of a ?regulated society? in which the state progressively recedes in favour of an increasingly complex and articulated civil society makes too little provision for those elements of civil society that remain neutral or even hostile towards the prevailing political order. On the other hand, liberal democracy, in its various forms, is inherently elitist, depoiiticised and fundamentally alienated. The survey findings confirm that both these problems are fundamental to South Africa's new political society. As an alternative, the article proposes a strategy drawn from recent work on Latin America ? a ?politicised civil society? which will link the concerns of individual citizens more closely to the more formal processes of state and party politics. ROAPE considers this argument to be important beyond South Africa's borders and hopes that this article will initiate a discussion on the problems of extending democracy in Africa far beyond the parliamentary circulation of elites where it is presently confined.