The African National Congress and Participatory Democracy

From People's Power to Public Policy

Heidi Brooks

ca. 74,89
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Springer International Publishing img Link Publisher

Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politisches System


This book examines the development of democratic thought in the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, with a focus on the movement’s ideas about participatory democracy. It makes particular reference to two key periods: the 1980s ‘people’s power’ movement and the subsequent years of policy formulation from 1990 when the ANC began to design and implement a system of participatory democracy alongside a representative government. Through the examination of historic documents and in-depth interviews with former ANC activists, government officials and those involved in policy development, the author explores the inspiration for the party’s commitment to establishing participatory democracy. The book combines democratic theory and political and intellectual history to look at the role of popular participation as part of a broader trajectory of the ANC’s democratic thought. It critically engages with concepts used in the party’s participatory discourse with a view to deepening our understanding of how ideas have shaped the construction of South Africa’s democracy.

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democratic consolidation, discourse of democracy, democracy, participatory policy, ANC democratic thought, vanguard movement, South African politics, ANC, framing of participation, citizen participation, participatory democracy, vanguardism, radical democratic theory, democratic crisis, people’s power, popular protest