Working Paper No. 82 DEMOCRACY WITHOUT PEOPLE: POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND CITIZENSHIP IN THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA
by Robert Mattes
AFROBAROMETER WORKING PAPERS
Working Paper No. 82
DEMOCRACY WITHOUT PEOPLE: POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND CITIZENSHIP IN THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA by Robert Mattes
Robert Mattes is Professor of Political Studies and Director of the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Capetown in South Africa.
AFROBAROMETER WORKING PAPERS
Editors: Michael Bratton, E. Gyimah-Boadi, and Robert Mattes Managing Editor: Carolyn Logan
Democracy Without People: Political Institutions and Citizenship in the New South Africai Abstract South Africa is widely seen as a leading, if not paradigmatic, success story of the Third Wave of Democracy. This success is just as widely attributed to the country’s supposedly wise choice of new democratic institutions that averted ethnic civil war and induced all key contenders to buy into the new democratic dispensation. But while there has been a real secular increase in public perceptions that its new institutions are indeed supplying a high level of democracy, there is little if any evidence that these institutional successes have resulted in increased levels of public demand for democracy. Nor is there much evidence of any institutional impacts on the attitudes of specific sub-groups that might be expected by institutional theories of democratization. The paper closes by suggesting three possible reasons for these developments that should be pursued in a final version of this paper.
INTRODUCTION In this paper, I take the first steps to developing a methodology to test institutional theories of democratization with a time series of public opinion data from the first decade of South Africa’s new democracy. South Africa is widely seen as one of, if not the paradigmatic success story of the Third Wave of Democracy. This success is just as widely attributed to the country’s supposedly wise choice of new democratic institutions that averted ethnic civil war and induced all key contenders to buy into the new democratic experiment (e.g. Klug, 2000; Sunstein, 2001; Gibson, 2004). But have South Africa’s new political institutions actually had the effects of generating increased public commitment to the new democracy that are often implied in institutional theory? Scholars of democratization tend to explain the stability or consolidation of new democracies -understood here as a very low probability of breakdown and reversal (Schedler, 1996) -- by reference to either of two quite different sets of factors. One school advances a demand ledtheory of consolidation, focusing on public values and attitudes, or what Richard Rose and his colleagues (1998) call political “software.” Though they may vary in important ways in how they conceptualize and measure key variables, this school broadly argues that new democracies and their constituent institutions become consolidated only when they become “legitimated,” or when an overwhelming majority see democracy as the “only game in town” (Linz & Stepan, 1996). Put another way, new democracies require democrats (e.g. Almond & Verba, 1962; Diamond, 1998; Gibson, Duch & Tedin, 1992; Bratton & Mattes, 2001; Gibson & Gouws, 2003; Inglehart & Welzel, 2005; Gunther, Torcal & Montero, 2006; Shin, Wells & Park, 2005). From a completely opposing standpoint, another set of scholars argues that democrats are the result of stable and successfully functioning democratic institutions, not their cause. This school advances a supply-led theory of democratic consolidation that focuses on the “hardware” (Rose et al, 1998) of government. Political institutions can be seen either as sets of rules (North, 1990) or as the organizations that perform the work of government, such as legislatures, executives and courts, as well as security, regulatory and welfare agencies. But -- to complete their analogy -- Rose and his colleagues (1998) have pointed out that any systems designer knows that it takes both hardware and software to make a system work. Thus, Bratton, Mattes & Gyimah-Boadi (2004) proposed an integrated, or demand and supply model of democratic consolidation. They argued that new democracies consolidate when a high proportion of citizens demand democracy, and also believe that they are receiving sufficient levels of democracy from their political regime, and when this condition obtains over time. The model uses public opinion data to measure demand but also to measure supply, not only as a proxy in lieu of good data on institutional development, but because subjective public perceptions of the supply of democracy ultimately matter more than expert ratings or objective indicators. The framework I develop in this paper expands on this demand and supply model by widening the analytic lens beyond what citizens think about their political institutions and regime to also describe a given country’s institutional choices and subsequent institutional development in order to model how institutional dynamics affect citizen attitudes, and in turn, shape the overall direction of the democratization process. In other words, I use this integrated demand and supply model to develop a more specified explanation of how political institutions and public opinion interact and, in turn, develop a more sophisticated and empirically accurate model that can be used cross nationally to understand why some democracies endure and improve, and why some stagnate or decay.
HOW DO POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS PROMOTE DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION? Institutional theorists have derived a system of explicit propositions or hypotheses about the impacts of political institutions across a wide range of elite behavior from such fundamental issues as ending civil strife or dictatorial rule by inducing elite entrance into negotiations, elite agreement on a constitutional settlement, or elite compliance with that agreement, to more relatively mundane issues like cabinet formation, legislative voting, government duration, policy demands, political party campaign appeals party formation (see the various offerings in Reynolds, 2002 for a sampling). They have also developed similar offerings about the impact of institutions on the ability of government to ensure transparency, accountability or economic growth, inflation and unemployment (Huntington, 1968; Lijphart, 1991; Grindle, 2000 Fukuyama, 2005). Yet political scientists have been far less explicit in terms of specifying how institutions affect the democratization process through their impact on the behavior or attitudes of ordinary citizens. In a sense, one could be excused for attributing to the institutionalist school an extreme claim about this link: that is, elite behavior simply matters more than mass behavior. “Getting the institutions right” is not only a necessary condition for democratic consolidation, it is also a sufficient one. One variant of this claim might hold that, in terms of the demand-supply model set out above, demand simply does not matter. Another variant, with a longer academic pedigree, holds that strong, effective and autonomous institutions are necessary not only because popular demand for democracy is typically low, but because if left to their own devices mass publics will willingly support a whole range of undemocratic measures against unpopular minorities, or gladly surrender their rights and liberties during a crisis in return for stability and security (Madison, Hamilton & Jay, 1788; Berelson et al, 1954; Prothro & Grigg, 1960; Converse, 1970; Higley & Burton, 1989; Burton, Gunther & Higley, 1992). However, most institutionalists would adopt a less extreme position advancing a strong claim, as follows: to the extent that popular demand for democracy and good governance matter, wise institutional choice and effective institutionalization will create a supply of political and economic goods sufficient to generate that demand. An examination of the underlying logic in institutional theory yields several possible mechanisms by which this might happen. Institutions are said to affect democratic consolidation in several different ways. The first set of impacts can be grouped under the larger process of “institutionalization.” Within this broad approach, one set of scholars has emphasized the generalized overtime effect of a the repeated practice of successfully functioning set of democratic institutions whereby democracy becomes “routinized” and ordinary citizens become “habituated” to democracy (DiPalma; 1990; Gunther, Montero & Puhle, 1995). In a related vein, a second set of theorists have emphasized the “learning by doing” role that political institutions play by enabling citizens to participate (e.g. vote, join civic associations, contact elected leaders, participate in collective actions, or peaceful protest) and thus realize and internalize the value of democracy. The very act of working with other citizens, contacting officials, taking part in elections, and fulfilling duties to the democratic state should – if repeated -- inculcate normative loyalty to the democratic regime as well as other positive personality traits vital to democracy such as internal efficacy and cognitive engagement with politics (De Tocqueville, 1904; Putnam. 1993; Bratton, 1999; Diamond, 1998; and Hadenious, 2001). A third set of scholars have emphasized the performance dimension of institutionalization, arguing that those specific state and government institutions that develop autonomy and capacity will be more likely to fulfill their functions by serving citizens and delivering valued economic goods (like employment, prosperity and equality) as well as political goods (such as protecting rights, and ensuring transparency, accountability and responsiveness),
and in turn, convincing people of the value of democracy (Huntington, 1967 and 1968; Grindle, 2000; Rose & Shin, 2000; Fukuyama, 2005; Przeworski, 1991; Przeworski et al, 1995; Przeworski et al, 2000). Institutions also may affect democratic consolidation by providing rules that create incentives or disincentives for various behaviors that either facilitate or obstruct democratic practice (Lijphart, 1985; Horowitz, 1991; Linz, 1990a and 1991b; Grofman & Lijphart, 1986; Reynolds, 1999; Weaver & Rockman, 1993; Macyntyre, 2003; Colomer, 2001; Reynolds, 2002). The basic insight of what has came to be known as the “new institutionalism” in political science is that rules shape politics by providing incentives for some behaviors and disincentives for others (North, 1990). And if rules shape behavior, it follows that different sets of rules send out different sets of incentives and disincentives. Thus, new democracies must choose those rules which “disincentive” whatever behavioral maladies afflict a given political system and “incentivize” corrective or ameliorative behaviors. By setting out and enforcing rules and by supplying a range of desired political and economic goods, democratic institutions satisfy citizen needs and provide incentives for citizens to cooperate peacefully with one another, participate in peaceful democratic procedures, refrain from political violence, refrain from supporting “antisystem” political parties, and accept the decisions and comply with the obligations of the democratic government and state agencies. In other words, getting the institutions right creates a demonstration effect that democracy simply works better than other contenting regimes, and citizens will be more likely to prefer democracy to alternative regimes and more likely to be satisfied with its output. This would include largely constitutionalized rules about the type of state (unitary or federal), executive (presidential vs. parliamentary), and elections (majoritarian vs. proportional) (Liphart, 1985; DiPalma, 1990; Horowitz, 1991a and 199b; Linz, 1991a and 1991b; Reynolds, 1993; Sisk; 1996; Reilly, 2002; Reynolds, 2002; Colomer, 2001; Macintyre, 2003; Norris, 1999; Anderson & Guillory, 1997; Bratton & Cho, 2005; Colomer, 2001)
INSTITUTIONAL CHOICE AND INSTITUTIONALIZATION IN SOUTH AFRICA To understand the particular role of political rules and organization in the South African experience, at least two preliminary observations are in order, both of which might seem counterintuitive given the popular image of the country’s apartheid regime. First, South Africa’s political tradition has been marked by a longstanding commitment to the concept of the rule of law (Mathews, 1972; Butler, Elphick & Welsh, 1987; Dugard, 1978; Dyzenhaus, forthcoming)). The system of apartheid was nothing if not rule-based; virtually every act of separation, removal, disenfranchisement, discrimination, banning, or detention carried out by the state could be located in or derived from an Act of Parliament (Gibson & Gouws, 1996).ii Second, the South African state has always been characterized far more by principles of Weberian rational-legalism rather than the neo-patrimonialism common to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and thus best described by Schmitter’s regime-type of bureaucratic-authoritarianism (Bratton & Van de Walle, 1997). Taken together, these two points help account for why South Africa’s transition away from apartheid toward multi-party democracy ultimately resembled the Iberian and Latin American path of protracted negotiations and pacts rather than African modal paths of sharp disjuncture followed by national conferences or rapid movement to early elections (Bratton & Van de Walle, 1997) or for that matter the transitional paths characteristic of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (McFaul, 2004). Starting in the late 1980s, the leaders of the National Party and African National Congress began a highly scripted process that began with tentative contacts in exotic locales like Paris and Dakar, advanced to “talks-about-talks,” and then shifted to full scale negotiations that produced a series of key pre-constitutional pacts such as the Pretoria and Groote Schuur Minutes (1991) and the
National Peace Accord (1993), and eventually an interim (1994) and final constitution (1996). These agreements not only spelt out how each pact would lead to the next one, but also produced a web of often novel rules and institutional devices. Between 1991 and 1994, negotiators designed and agreed to a Transitional Executive Council, a founding election on the basis of proportional representation, a transitional Independent Electoral Commission, an interim Government of National Unity and Governments of Provincial Unity, transitional Local Government Councils, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a new Constitutional Court, and a Constitutional Assembly. The Constitutional Assembly, in turn, produced agreement on final national, provincial and local governments, and a final court system, but also new devices such as a National Council of Provinces and a plethora of permanent, independent watchdog agencies such as the Independent Electoral Commission and Human Rights Commission. Yet the South African passion for institutional innovation was still not sated; since 1996 the constitutional landscape has been complemented by a range of new enforcement institutions like a National Directorate for Public Prosecutions, Office for Serious Economic Offenses. This infatuation with institutional design is now matched by a new enthusiasm for institutionalization. That is, while the government has undertaken a home grown program of structural reform that has rolled back the scope of the state and reduced its role in many areas of economic regulation, it has simultaneously taken steps to increase the strength of the state (for more on this distinction, see Fukuyama, 2005). Since 1995, the government has initiated a wide range of programs – often in partnership with international donors -- to enhance state expertise and capacity at national, provincial and local levels in policy-making, revenue collection, spending and policy implementation, and prosecution. Finally, the government has also been involved in significant attempts to increase the reach of the state, introducing police, justice and other service agencies to deep rural areas. Yet assessing the impact of any particular set of constitutional rules and political institutions assumes that we know something about what those rules and institutions were intended to accomplish by those who designed them. Thus before we proceed to assess the impact of South Africa’s institutions and asking whether or not they “worked,” it is necessary to know something about the thinking of local institutional designers. Andrew Reynolds’ (2005) analogy of the constitutional designer as clinical physician guides us to ask a series of questions. First, what did they diagnose as the most important political, social and economic maladies afflicting South Africa? Second, what were their prognoses for the future trajectory of the country? And third, what were their institutional prescriptions? And what did they expect to happen as a consequence of adopting these institutions? Answering these questions, however, is not as simple as it might seem. A prominent characteristic of South Africa’s transition was the extent of the disagreement over the nature of the country’s afflictions as well as their cure, or what Donald Horowitz (1991) called the “conflict about the conflict.” South Africa’s political doctors proceeded from extremely divergent diagnoses of and prognoses of the body politic, and thus proposed often mutually exclusive prescriptions. This debate can be parsimoniously divided into three different schools of thought. South Africa as an Apartheid Society Consisting of church organizations, civil right groups, civil society organizations, legal scholars and the official white parliamentary opposition, the first school diagnosed the malady of South Africa of the late 1980’s as the system of legalized racial discrimination and exclusion known as apartheid. Apartheid denied legal citizenship in the land of their birth to millions, deprived them of political freedom and rights, marginalized them from the political and economic life of the country, subverted the rule of law to repress black protest and insurgency, delegitimized state
institutions and eroded respect for law, and created a deep sense of inter-racial hatred and desire for retribution. While pessimistic, its prognosis for the country did hold out the hope of advancing toward a common, normal society. Its institutional prescriptions focused on dismantling the web of apartheid laws, structures and replacing them with laws guaranteeing political equality and freedom, political representation in a common South Africa, outlawing discrimination and encouraging greater contact and integration amongst people of different races. And to ensure that the country did not simply slide from a racial oligarchy into a dictatorship that governed in the name of the black majority yet oppressed both blacks and whites, this school prescribed a series of constitutionally entrenched individual and minority rights, replacing parliamentary sovereignty with constitutional sovereignty. Finally, minority rights were also to be safeguarded by some form of federalism. This school’s liberal commitment to justice also necessitated thinking about some process to investigate and punish crimes committed by individuals under apartheid balanced with the concern for tearing the country apart led to calls for a truth and reconciliation commission (Slabbert & Welsh, 1979; Louw & Kendall, 1987; Adam & Moodley, 1993; Boraine & Levy, 1994). South Africa as a Deeply Divided Society The second school was composed of a loose marriage between the ruling National Party and international and domestic political scientists who studied ethnic politics. It clearly recognized that apartheid had to be removed but tended to diagnose apartheid not as the genesis of the country’s problems but rather a symptom (albeit misguided) of these problems. It also contended that South Africa was not a normal society, but in contrast to the liberal approach, its prognosis questioned whether the polity could ever evolve into a common nation governed under a single, majoritarian democratic system. South Africa was not simply composed of a plurality of different ethnic and racial groups, but was a deeply divided society with little shared national identity in which well-defined communal groups claimed, mobilized and contended for political power over the same territory and where the state tends to be the vehicle of the currently dominant group. For such a society, the liberal school’s prescriptions were not only insufficient, but might make things worse. Rather, divided societies could only sustain democratic rule through a complex system of power sharing between well defined communal groups The most prominent of these international analysts, Arend Lijphart, prescribed a combination of four institutional devices: (1) proportionality, both in terms of electoral rules as well as the composition of government, civil service and budgetary expenditures; (2) a grand coalition of all key groups in the cabinet or collective executive; (3) minority vetoes; and (4) segmental autonomy, possibly through some form of ethnically based federalism.iii In direct contrast to the first school’s prescription of nation-building through integration and increased intra group contact, consociationalism advocates keeping groups apart as far apart as possible, leaving inter group negotiations in the hands of a small group of enlightened leaders (Rabushka & Shepsle, 1972; Giliomee & Schlemmer, 1989a; Lijphart, 1985; Horowitz, 1991; Smooha & Hanf, 1996; and Theiler, 1999).iv South Africa as a Post Colonial Society Consisting of the South African Communist Party, the African National Congress and international and local Marxist oriented scholars, a third, quite divergent diagnosis of the ills underlying South African society pointed to capitalism as much as apartheid. Apartheid was seen less as a unique creation of Afrikaner nationalism than as a variant of a much larger dynamic of international capitalism and colonialist oppression resulting from the country’s experience since independence in 1910 that resulted from its “colonialism of a special type.” Viewed
through these lenses, the fundamental societal maladies were diagnosed as (racialized) capitalist exploitation of the black working class, underemployment, under-education and poverty, which turned blacks into “subjects” rather than citizens (Rodney, 1972; O’Meara, 1996; Mamdani, 1996). Its prognosis predicted that simply removing the legal structure of apartheid would leave the white middle class in control of the commanding heights of the economy and do nothing about the systematic underdevelopment of Africans. To be sure, this school’s prescriptions included the removal of apartheid but was deeply suspicious of the institutions of “bourgeois” democracy in general and in particular of the proposals of both South African liberals or conservatives (such as exotic electoral rules, federalism, and supermajorities) designed to protect individual or minority rights as thinly disguised methods to limit and entrap black or working class aspirations. Rather, this school prescribed essentially majoritiarian rules that would ensure the political “hegemony” of the African people, the working class, and their political representative the African National Congress. It recommended basic Westminster parliamentarianism and a unitary state in order to achieve a strong state with minimal limits that could ensure economic delivery, social transformation and nation-building. South Africa’s Constitutional Settlement Describing the entire result of South Africa’s constitutional negotiation process is beyond the scope of this paper. But three important generalizations are necessary to proceed. First, it is true that the ANC made some important concessions of lasting consequence such as proportional representation electoral rules and constitutionally entrenched provincial governments with constitutionally defined powers. Second, the Interim Constitution adopted in late 1993 contained a number of other temporary ANC concessions to the National Party and other minority parties but which had no lasting consequence because they were either ignored in practice once the ANC won the 1994 election, or eliminated by the ANC-dominated Constitutional Assembly from the final constitution.v Third, the National Party failed to obtain most of its key demands. It had wanted the Constitution to be written by CODESA, a non-elected body equally representing 19 different political organizations of vastly varying size and legitimacy, a collective and revolving presidency, a proportional cabinet that made decisions by consensus (effectively allowing minority party vetoes), and over-representation of minor parties in the upper legislative chamber. And once it conceded that CODESA would only write an interim constitution, it demanded legislative super-majorities of 70 percent (and even 75 percent on fundamental rights) to ratify or amend the final constitution. None of these demands came to fruition . Thus, what ultimately resulted from six long of constitution-making was a relatively majoritarian, very centralized system with few veto players (Tsebelis, 1999) which enables a majority party to do what it wants with little effective opposition. Why did this happen? The South African transition was characterized by a power asymmetry between the government and opposition. It is true that a mutual perception of a “hurting stalemate” (Zartmann, 1985) in the military struggle originally drove the National Party and African National Congress into each other’s arms, and a sense of power symmetry characterized early negotiations, with the ANC strength lying in its popular support, and the National Party’s in its control of the military, civil service and business community. But once the competition shifted to electoral politics, the ANC soon gained the upper hand. This shredded any “veil of ignorance” (Rawls, 1974) that might have created a sense of uncertainty as to how each party would fare as a result of negotiations. The sheer demographics of the country appeared to guarantee the ANC a sizable election victory if it could monopolize the black vote. And when negotiations broke down in 1992 and 1993, the ANC was able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets to force the government to accede to its negotiating demands. Negotiations proceeded in the presence of a plethora of preCopyright Afrobarometer
election surveys conducted by government agencies, research institutes and media organization beginning as early as 1989. These surveys initially provided the National Party with some hope of at least denying the ANC a clear majority. But as the De Klerk government appeared increasingly unable or unwilling to do anything about the violence that was tearing the country apart, opinion polls showed the ANC moving toward a resounding victory and the NP acceded to ANC demands simply as a way to get to elections before its support completely evaporated (Mattes, 1994). And finally, the supposed reserve pools of NP influence, based on ts apparent control of the civil service, the military and the business community, quickly evaporated as each abandoned the NP after the 1994 election and moved to curry favor with the new ANC government (Waldmeir, 1997). The ANC’s Theory of Democratic Governance That the ANC emerged from constitutional negotiations with the great majority of its institutional preferences intact was not inconsequential for a political movement of such grand aspirations. To say that the African National Congress is an ambitious organization is a massive understatement. Its goal was nothing less than the fundamental transformation of South African society reshaping a breathtaking cross-section of political, economic and social life.vi Achieving this goal, however, required first and foremost a strong, efficient and legitimate state in order to: • eliminate the vast divides within the South Africa populace by creating common political and economic rights, reducing economic inequalities, and creating national unity; • end minority control and privilege, politically, through the introduction of representative and accountable, majoritarian democratic institutions and through the transformation of the public service, and economically through affirmative action and black economic empowerment; • eliminate widespread destitution through redistributive taxation and spending to provide public services (such as education, health care, water, sewerage, housing and welfare grants) and job opportunities; • and provide dignity and freedom to the previously oppressed through economic empowerment, but also by providing political rights and liberties, and by enabling people to participate in political and economic decision making. Yet in many different ways, the newly elected African National Congress perceived that if they were to achieve these goals, and if the new democratic order was to endure, deepen and prosper, they would need to take a series of explicit steps to engineer a sense of patriotism and widespread popular attachment to the “new South Africa,” a general popular commitment to democratic rules, an extensive trust in and respect for the institutions embedded within that regime, and an active, “participatory” citizenship. While the ANC may never had put it in so many words, the task it set for itself was one of creating legitimacy – or a “sense of moral oughtness” (Eldridge, 1977) around the territorial and symbolic identity of the “new South Africa,” the democratic regime, the range of political institutions embedded within that regime, and its particular vision of citizenship. Consistent with the arguments of political scientist David Easton (1965), the ANC was admitting that no political system can long survive simply through constant coercion or through regular “quid pro quo” exchanges of material payouts and instrumental popular support. Rather, they needed to build the new dispensation on a more enduring, diffuse sense of intrinsic support: support that would not have to be constantly earned through the delivery of political and economic goods; support that would ultimately manifest itself – negatively -- through citizens refraining from emigration, insurrection, protest, boycotts or stay-aways and – positively –
through regular political participation, tax payment, and law abidance. This was nothing less than a task of winning hearts and minds over to the new political order, and doing so across four distinct levels, or referents of public attitudes: that is the new political community, the new political regime, the new set of government institutions, and the new vision of the individual citizen.vii In this paper, however, I will focus only on the ANC’s thinking about building legitimacy for the new democratic regime. The commitment to a democratic form of government has been a principal theme of ANC thinking for at least forty years, as articulated in the widely repeated phrase of the Freedom Charter: “the people shall govern” (Johns & Davis, 1991: 8). More specifically, this has meant a commitment to popularly based, elected government which is accountable and accessible, but also reflects the will of the majority (ANC, 1991). That said, however, the ANC has tended to pursue a particular variant of democracy and democratization. Due to years of ascriptively defined minority rule, the ANC has understandably emphasized building a government that reflects the “will of the majority,” rather than thinking of ways to protect minority rights or ensuring minority influence. Its notion of “the majority” has tended to be static and monolithic (rather than fluid and cyclical), much as its idea of “the people” has tended to be collective and monolithic (rather than a collection of disparate individual interests). Thus, it focused on getting an electoral system that would create a legislature “representative of the people as a whole” (ANC, 1991), rather than one with clear links to identifiable constituencies. And, as noted above, it entered constitutional negotiations with a strong suspicion of mechanisms that might give influence to political minorities such as super-majorities, federalism or proportional representation in the executive cabinet. Indeed, it saw the process of democratization not simply as achieving a free and fair founding election and producing a popularly elected government, but as a much larger process of systematically eliminating minority control and privilege (ANC, 1994a, Part 1.3.7). The ANC also distinguished between what it saw as indirect, “representative” democracy and direct, “participatory” democracy. While representative democracy would be supplied by elections, the ANC has tried to channel popular participation through informal or extra-electoral and extra-legislative forums rather than formal electoral or legislative mechanisms (ANC, n.d.-a, Part 5; ANC, 1997a). The ANC’s quest to deliver democracy has been made even more daunting because its own conception of democracy has consistently combined political and civil rights with notions of economic democracy (Johns & Davis, 1991: 8). As a 1997 party document declared: “Democracy and development are intertwined and one cannot be separated from the other” (ANC, 1997a). ANC officials and documents have often spoke of “democratizing the economy” or “democratizing society.” Thus, the political equality enshrined in the constitution, protected by the courts, and manifested in the 1994 election was only a first step toward what the ANC thought of as democracy and the party called on the national and provincial legislatures to “establish legislation and programmes which ensure substantive equality rather than formal equality” (ANC, 1994a, 5.4.1). Thus, supplying democracy not only entailed free and fair elections and civil liberties and political rights, but providing economic equality and economic emancipation. Yet while the ANC devoted a significant degree of official consideration to changing popular attitudes to achieve the goal of nation-building and legitimize the idea of the South African political community, there is no evidence that the party thought it necessary to change popular attitudes to legitimize the idea of a democratic South Africa. To the extent that they thought about it, democratic consolidation was signified by the absence of counter-revolutionary forces.viii
On one hand, this paucity of thinking implies that the party’s thinkers assumed that people naturally preferred democracy as a political regime. On the other hand, leading ANC officials worried that democracy could easily lose mass support if the democratically elected government failed to deliver economically. Nelson Mandela, for example, justified the party’s massive Reconstruction and Development Programme by arguing that “Democracy will have little content, and indeed, will be short lived if we cannot address our socio-economic problems with an expanding and growing economy” (ANC, 1994a: Preface). Or as a 1997 party discussion document put it: “No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life” (ANC, 1997b, Part 1.2.7). Thus, if only by default, the party did have some basic awareness of the issue of democratic legitimacy, but saw it turning sharply on the issue of economic delivery. This summary of official ANC thinking about issues of democratic legitimacy as reflected in its key policy documents suggests that its saw the legitimation of the new South Africa and its democratic political institutions turning largely on the issue of performance and the delivery of political and (mainly) economic goods. Relatively little thought was given to issues of symbolism or (re)socialization. At first glance, this might appear contradictory. Legitimacy, in the Eastonian tradition, is not supposed to performance based, or instrumental. The Eastonian paradigm sees loyalty to the political system as the product of the socializing institutions of society (schools, family, and mass media). The very reason why legitimacy is seen as a desired goal is precisely so a political system does not have to depend constantly and perpetually on the successful delivery of economic and political goods. But the ANC view might be less contradictory that it might initially appear once one considers where South Africa stood in terms of its political development. While it did indeed have the notion of an intrinsic loyalty, cut free of performance considerations, as its ultimate goal. “But how could South Africa’s families, schools, or mass media fulfill those roles,” the ANC might have asked, “given the fact that the severe social divisions created by apartheid and the fact that state was in the process of changing its very identity?’ Seen in this light, the ANC’s attempt to use performance to create a broader, more enduring, performance-free legitimacy is more ironic than contradictory. In fact, many political scientists would concur with this view. While families, schools and mass media might be the key purveyors of diffuse, legitimacy-based support in established democracies, scholars located within the “new institutionalism” argue that new democracies have to kick start the process by choosing, designing or developing effective political institutions. Yet only some institutionalists would argue that continued exposure to successful institutions will gradually inculcate democratic legitimacy as citizens internalize the rules of the game. As discussed earlier, others would emphasize the fact that the rules embedded in differing institutions incentivize or disincentivize democratic attitudes and behaviors. Still others would argue that the real role of institutions is to (re)shape the attitudes of those who participate within them, through a “learning by doing” dynamic.
AN INITIAL AND TENTATIVE TEST On the face of it, the African National Congress governed South Africa seems to have done remarkably, even miraculously well. Against expectations of racial and ethnic civil war, political authoritarianism, and triple digit inflation and indebtedness, South Africa has repeatedly been hailed as an example of democratic progress (Carothers, 2004: 13) and is now widely seen as a model success case of Third Wave democratization. The country’s experiences of the last ten years in conflict resolution, negotiation and transition, constitutional drafting, and reconciliation
are seen as “state of the art.” Institutional designers from places as diverse as Israel-Palestine, Fiji, Congo and Iraq have looked to South Africa as a model for a Bill of Rights, institutional design, or for a process of negotiation or reconciliation (e.g. Lal, 2002). South Africa receives regular plaudits from a wide range of international observers of democracy and governance. It is only one of ten African countries to be rated as “free” by Freedom House (2004); and since it is a functioning multi-party democracy, it also qualifies by Diamond’s (1999) definition as a “liberal democracy” (1999). The Bertelsmann Transformation Index give is Democracy Status score of 4.2 (out of 5), which reflects a country with “Good prospects for consolidation of a market based economy” (Bertelsmann, 2003). And its Constitution has become the darling of liberals and social democrats the world over because of its inclusion of an extensive set of political and socio-economic rights. On the economic front, the new government has avoided the triple-digit inflation that many feared would accompany a populist economic strategy of redistribution and government intervention. It stabilized the expanding debt and reversed the double-digit inflation inherited from the apartheid-era government. Since 1994, the government has facilitated the construction of 1.6 million low-cost houses and built 56,000 new classrooms. Massive infrastructure projects have given 9 million people access to clean water and provided sanitation to 6.4 million and electricity to 2 million. Government now provides various forms of social grants to 7.4 million and the poor have access to free medicine and more than 700 new clinics. Over 5 million needy children now get a fifth to a quarter of their daily nutritional needs through school feeding programs (Rumney, 2001, Barrell, 2000; RDP Monitor, 2000 & 2001; Ballenger, 1998; February, 2004). Relatively low inflation means that working South Africans are able to keep up with the cost of living. The national budget deficit has shrunk from 8 percent to around 2 percent of GDP. And public and private affirmative-action initiatives in education, business ownership and hiring have created a sizeable black middle class that is now surpassing its white counterpart in absolute size (Whiteford & Van Deventer, 1999). Its home grown structural adjustment program is now seen as a model for economic stabilization, and Finance Minister Trevor Manual is the toast of the World Economic Forum. But as impressive a record as these political and economic achievements appear to be, South African political institutions have also been characterized by a number of significant blemishes. The democratic political system has presided over a massive increase in the number of HIV infections, supplanting Uganda and Botswana as the world epicenter of the pandemic. Yet in the face of a massive reduction in adult life expectancy, President Thabo Mbeki has publicly questioned accepted scientific conventions about the connection between HIV infections and AIDS, wasted valuable time with a Presidential AIDS Commissions stuffed with dissident scientists, and the government has dragged its feet needlessly in providing drugs to prevent mother to child transmission or anti-retroviral drugs to extend lives. It also presided over a substantial rise in most categories of crime, especially violent crime since 1994 (Bruce, 2001; Dynes, 2001; Pedrag, 2000).even as it ability to prosecute and convict has declined? (The Economist, 2001 cited in Daniel, 2001). Economically, growth has been sluggish hovering around 2 to 3 percent, even though the government sees a growth rate of 6 to 7 percent as a prerequisite to cutting unemployment and reducing inequality? The economy that has shed 500,000 formal jobs, driving unemployment -- broadly defined -- near 40 percent and depriving hundreds of thousands of households of the income needed to make ends meet; yet its has steadfastly refused civil society demands to implement a modest basic income grant. And the income of the bottom two-fifths of all households has actually moved backward since 1994, increasing inequality (Whitefod & Van Deventer, 1999; Budlender, 2000).
Ultimately, however, our demand and supply model of democratic consolidation requires us to evaluate the success of the democratization process not simply in terms of outsider, expert assessments, or even solely in terms of objective indicators of institutional performance, but rather in terms of what citizens consider they are receiving. To what extent did South Africa’s initial choice of political institutions and subsequent process of institutionalization actually generate a sense among the citizenry of increased supply of political and economic goods? And in turn, to what extent has this led to an increased popular demand for democracy?
HABITUATION? As discussed earlier, one group of scholars who work within the broader rubric of “institutionalization” would expect to find – given the general successes outlined above – that the increasing “routinization” of democratic politics in South Africa over the past twelve years has gradually “habituated” the general public to democracy and build increasing levels of popular commitment to democracy (DiPalma; 1990;Gunter, Diamandouros & Puhle, 1995). And indeed, there is clear evidence of an upward, secular trend of increasing popular optimism about the institutional supply of democracy. Here we focus on aggregate responses to three indicators that ask respondents about the freeness and fairness of elections, about the extent of democracy, and finally, their level of satisfaction with the way democracy works in South Africa.ix Three our of four South Africans judged the 1999 election as “completely free and fair” or “free and fair with minor problems,” even though international observers had unanimously declared that election as free and fair. However, the 2004 election received significantly higher public approval, with 83 percent rating it as completely or largely free and fair, though the figure fell back to 75 percent when people were asked for their judgment in 2006. The proportions of South Africans who think their political institutions produce a “full democracy” or a “democracy, with minor problems” now stands at 64 percent, up sharply from the 47 percent who said so in 2002. And finally, while popular satisfaction with democracy has bounced up and down quite considerably since 1995, it has increased by approximately 20 percentage points and now stands at 63 percent.
Figure 1: Supply of Democracy Over Time
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
83 73 63 67 67 60 52 47 44 75 64 63
Satisfied With Way Democracy Works Election Free & Fair / Minor Problems
Full Democracy / Minor Problems
But while the perceived supply of democracy may evidence some upward trends, popular demand for democracy is generally stable. One element of popular demand for democracy consists of public rejection of non-democratic forms of rule, and is tapped by a scale asking people whether they would approve or disapprove if the country were ruled by a unelected strong man, or by the military, or if only one political party were allowed to stand for office, or if the country returned to apartheid rule.x The time series data indicate that the proportion that would reject a return to apartheid increased from 65 to 76 percent from 2000 to 2006, and rejection of one party rule has increased from 56 to 66 percent over the same period. Rejection of strong man rule has remained statistically unchanged, now standing at 64 percent. Because this time series only begins in 2000, we turn to a different indictor to obtain a longer picture of public attitudes to non-democratic rule. It is an admittedly “loaded” question that is intended to force people to choose between democracy and an authoritarian government that delivers a range of highly valued goods (at least in the South African context).xi It reveals that in 2006, just 35 percent of South Africans declare themselves “unwilling” or “very unwilling” to “give up regular elections and live under” a “non-elected government or leader” who “could impose law and order, and deliver houses and jobs,” which is statistically the same result as was obtained in 1997.
Figure 2: Rejection of Authoritarian Rule
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
75 67 65 56 37 34
77 73 67
70 64 61 57 38
76 72 66 64
Reject Military Rule
Reject Strong Man Rule Reject 1 Party Rule Unwilling To Live Under Unelected Govt
Reject Return to Apartheid
While the first element of popular demand for democracy consists of a negative rejection of nondemocratic regimes, the second element consists of a positive preference for democracy. To tap this, we turn to an internationally used item that asks respondents whether democracy is always preferable to other forms of government.xii It finds that in 2006, 65 percent of South Africans said that “democracy is always preferable to other forms of government,” statistically indistinguishable from the result obtained in 1998. In order to obtain an even longer scope of a positive preference for democracy, we turn to a slightly different item that tells people that “sometimes democracy does not work” and then asks them under such a situation whether they think that democracy is still always best, or whether they would prefer a strong, unelected leader.xiii This item finds that from 1995 to 2003, between 47 and 55 percent said “democracy is always best” even when it “does not work.”
Figure 3: Preferences for Democracy Over Time
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
1995 1997 1998 2000 2002 2003 2004 2006
Democracy Preferable Democracy Always Best
63 56 47 47
63 57 55
Moreover, not only is the demand curve for democracy in South Africa fairly “flat,” the absolute level of demand is relatively low compared to other African countries included in the Afrobarometer. Figure 4 reflects just one of these indicators, rejection of presidential dictatorship, in which South Africa exhibits the third lowest level of rejection across 18 Afrobarometer countries.
Figure 4: Rejection of Strong-Man Rule, 2005-2006
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
e qu bi am oz ia a M ib ric am f N th A rde u e So e V ap i C law a M i car al as M da g a M ri a e ig N in a n i Be zan n Ta na ha l G ega n o Se oth s Le ya en K bia a m n Za w a e ts bw Bo ba m a Zi nd ga U
The differing trajectories of democratic supply and demand in South Africa are highlighted nicely by examining the proportions of fully satisfied and committed democrats. That is, we isolate those respondents in each survey who say they are both satisfied with democracy (satisfied or very satisfied) and who think the country is democratic (fully democracy or democracy with minor problems), as well as those respondents who reject three forms of authoritarian rule (strong man rule, one party rule and military rule) and prefer democracy. This more demanding measure shows that the proportion of consistent democrats has remained in a range of 30 to 35 percent of the electorate since 2000, but that the number of satisfied democrats has moved from 40 to 53 percent. This imbalance of democratic supply and demand is relatively unique, though two other Southern African countries (Namibia and Mozambique) also exhibit the same pattern (Bratton, Mattes & Gyimah-Boadi, 2004; Keulder 2005; Mattes & Shenga, 2007). This profile suggests a pattern of public opinion characterized by Guillermo O’Donnell’s as “delegative democracy” where an acquiescent public accepts whatever the regime chooses to supply.
Figure 5: Demand (Committed Democrats) and Supply (Satisfied Democrats)
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Reject 3 Forms of Auth + Prefer Democracy
56 43 30 33 29
Satisfied + Country Complete or Mostly Democratic
But while there is no evidence of democratic “habituation” across the entire public, some institutionalists might argue that the impact of new democratic institutions will not necessarily be registered across the entire public, but concentrated amongst those generations who come of age after a democratic settlement and who grow up in a democratic society. Thus, we examine whether there is any “hidden” habituation effect concentrated amongst younger cohorts of South Africans? Both a visual inspection of differences between the attitudes of South Africa’s new democratic generation (those who turned 16 in 1994 or beyond) and all other South Africans (not shown) as well as over-time correlations coefficients of the relationship between generation (predemocratic vs. post democratic) (Table 1) show virtually no differences between the post and pre democratic generation.
Table 1: New Democratic Generation 1995 Satisfied With X Democracy South Africa Is X Democratic Democracy Always Best X Support Democracy X Reject 1 Party Rule X Reject Military Rule X Reject Presidential Rule X Reject Return to X Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X Effective Autocracy
Cells report Tau b correlation coefficients
1997 .017 X -.021 X X X X X .004
2000 .053** .038 .014 .014 -.009 .016 .007 .027 -.020
2002 .029 .006 X -.002 .019 -.015 .002 .049* -.011
2006 .006 .053**
.067*** X .023 .002 -.019 -.005 .062*** -.031
X .000 .029 .016 .001 .031 .005
LEARNING DEMOCRACY BY DOING? As noted earlier, a second set of institutional theorists have emphasized the “learning by doing” role of political institutions play by enabling citizens to participate in the political system in constructive ways and thus realize and internalize the value of democracy. The very act of working with other citizens, contacting officials, taking part in elections, identifying with political parties, and fulfilling duties to the democratic state should – if repeated -- inculcate normative loyalty to the democratic regime as well as other positive personality traits vital to democracy such as internal efficacy and cognitive engagement with politics (De Tocqueville, 1904; Putnam. 1993; Bratton, 1999; Diamond, 1998; and Hadenius, 1997). Future versions of this paper will take advantage of cross national institutional variation and test the impact of partisanship, and all other institutions, across the 18 Afrobarometer countries. This paper, however, takes advantage of the unique Idasa / Afrobarometer twelve year time series of public opinion data within South Africa. The neo-institutionalist approach is based fundamentally on the ability of elites and citizens to tease out and learn the logics imbued in any set of rules, and then figure out which behaviors are rewarded and which are penalized. Such a process of learning takes time. While one can read the rule book of any game, the full implications of those rules on how one plays the game are only manifest once one has played several iterations of the game. Thus, the impact of political institutions on citizen attitudes and behaviors should only be evident over time. While a fuller range of appropriate questions can be found in various Idasa and Afrobarometer surveys, only a few items have been consistently asked across time in order to test for evidence of a secular “learning by doing” effect. Thus, in order to test for “learning by doing” institutional effects, I have calculated the overtime rank-order correlation coefficients (Tau B) between (1) partisanship (identifying with any political party) identification, (2) strength of partisanship, (3) having voted in the previous national elections, (4) contacting a member of parliament, and (5) getting together with other citizens to raise an issue on one hand, and the previously discussed indicators of democratic supply and demand, on the other hand. What this shows is that over the past twelve years, partisans in South Africa are indeed more likely than non-partisans to perceive higher levels. Moreover, the size of the impacts of both partisanship and the strength of partisanship are increasing over time (Table 2 and Table 3).
However, with the exception of the item about returning to the old apartheid regime, partisans and strong partisans are only slightly more likely to demand democracy than non partisans and weak partisans. Moreover, there are no substantial changes in demand over time. Table 2: Partisanship Satisfied With Democracy South Africa Is Democratic Democracy Always Best Support Democracy Reject 1 Party Rule Reject Military Rule Reject Presidential Rule Reject Return to Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under Effective Autocracy 1995 .096*** X -.020 X X X X X X 1997 .141*** X .107*** X X X X X .014 2000 .174*** .105*** .136*** .192*** .015 .036 .056** .161*** .082*** 2002 .133*** .097*** X .130*** .003 .035 .008 .147*** -.019 2004 .263*** .242*** X .144*** -.109*** -.011 -.060*** .125*** .-.018 2006 .245*** .135*** X .171*** -.035 .063*** .059*** .117*** .045***
Cells report Tau B correlation coefficients
Table 3: Strength of Partisanship 1995 Satisfied With .080*** Democracy South Africa Is X Democratic Democracy Always Best .027 Support Democracy X Reject 1 Party Rule X Reject Military Rule X Reject Presidential Rule X Reject Return to X Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X Effective Autocracy
1997 .157*** X .099*** X X X X X .014
2000 .190*** .115*** .137*** .191*** .020 .039* .054** .149*** .082***
2002 .162*** .107*** X .152*** .002 .060*** .032 .169*** -.019
2004 .257*** .235*** X .128*** -.101*** -.002 -.062*** .118*** -.018
2006 .260*** .213*** X .162*** -.017 .078*** .083*** .132*** .045***
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
Twelve years of public opinion data also yield little evidence that those who have taken part in the act of voting are any different from those who have not. There is some evidence to suggest an increasing impact of this form of institutionalized participation at the very end of the time series, but this may reflect the fact that voting turnout has substantially decreased (a drop of 30 percentage points from 1994 to 2004). In this case, the act of voting may not be having increased attitudinal effects so much as the fact that less democratically satisfied, or democratically demanding citizens are dropping out of the active electorate.
Table 4: Voted in Most Recent National Election 1995 1997 Satisfied With .024 X Democracy South Africa Is X X Democratic Democracy Always Best .044* X Support Democracy X X Reject 1 Party Rule X X Reject Military Rule X X Reject Presidential Rule X X Reject Return to X X Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X X Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2000 .068*** .052*** .060** .069*** -.015 .031 .016 .062*** -.003
2002 X X X X X X X X X
2004 .064*** .049*** X .027 -.024 -.023 -.050** .025 -.024
2006 .149*** .080*** X .153*** .08 .034 .020 .068*** .026
We also see very little evidence that the act of contacting elected officials (in this case Members of Parliament) is producing any institutionalized impact on democratic attitudes (Table 5). Table 5: Contacted MP Satisfied With Democracy South Africa Is Democratic Democracy Always Best Support Democracy Reject 1 Party Rule Reject Military Rule Reject Presidential Rule Reject Return to Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under Effective Autocracy 1995 .099*** X .034 X X X X X X 1997 X X X X X X X X X 2000 .025 .024 .025 .042* .012 .026 .051** .047* .031 2002 .004 -.009 X .036* -.037 .040* -.029 .022 -.042* 2004 .090*** .107*** X .036* -.051** -.052* -.034 -.056** -.024 2006 .092*** .077* X .028 .051** -.027* .005 -.004 -.018
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
There is more evidence that participation in local action groups (which can be seen as an indirect effect of political institutions that incentivize autonomous public participation, e.g. Hadenius, 1996), makes people more likely to feel that democracy is being supplied, and more likely to support democracy. At the same time, while there are relative differences between those who get involved and those who do not, the overall level of this form of participation in South Africa is not very high in absolute terms compared to other African countries (see Figure 6). Both sets of information (the relative impact on those who are subjected to an institutional “treatment” versus those who are not, as well as the absolute proportion of those who are so subjected) are crucial ingredients to any final conclusions about the scope and nature of institutional impacts on public attitudes and behavior.
Table 6: Got Together With Others 1995 Satisfied With X Democracy South Africa Is X Democratic Democracy Always Best X Support Democracy Reject 1 Party Rule Reject Military Rule Reject Presidential Rule Reject Return to Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under Effective Autocracy X X X X X X
1997 X X
2000 .088*** .102***
2002 .076*** .049*** X
2004 .169*** .142*** X
2006 .041*** -.042* X .055**
X .095*** X X X X .083*** X X .113*** 028 .091*** .040* .071***
.151*** -.006 .062*** .039*
.094*** -.033 -.023 -.024 .017
.053** .021 -.003 .034 .054**
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
Figure 6: Joining Together with Others on Community Issue
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
de er eV ap C i al i M law a M in n ia Be ib am a N bi rica m f Za th A u l So ega n Se eria ig N ana e h w G bab a m n Zi swa t Bo ya en K nda ga o e U oth iqu s b Le am oz i a M zan scar n a Ta ag ad M
Yes, several times
Yes, once or twice
INSTITUTIONAL PERFORMANCE A third set of institutional scholars have emphasized the performance dimension of institutionalization, arguing that those specific state and government institutions that are able to develop the autonomy and capacity to deliver valued economic and political goods to large sections of the populace contribute to democratization by convincing people about the value of democracy (Huntington, 1967 and 1968; Grindle, 2000; Rose & Shin, 2000; Fukuyama, 2005; Przeworski, 1991; Przeworski et al, 1996; Przeworski et al, 2000). By enforcing rules and by supplying a range of desired political and economic goods, democratic institutions satisfy citizen needs and provide incentives for citizens to cooperate peacefully with one another, participate in peaceful democratic procedures, refrain from political violence, refrain from supporting “antisystem” political parties, and accept the decisions and comply with the obligations of the democratic government and state agencies. In other words, getting the institutions right creates a demonstration effect that democracy simply works better than other contenting regimes, and citizens will be more likely to prefer democracy to alternative regimes and more likely to be satisfied with its output. In order to test these claims in South Africa, I examine the Tau B correlations of public evaluations of 9 key dimensions of state and government performance: control of corruption, responsiveness to public opinion, and perceptions of government ability to fight crime, and deliver health services, water, and education. Indeed all of these sectors have been sites of intense institutionalization over the past twelve years, often involving massive commitment by donors and other capacity building institutions in partnership with the South African government. Here, the results suggest some important impacts of institutionalization. As expected, we see that those South Africans who perceive high levels of corruption amongst national and local government officials are far less satisfied with democracy and are substantially less likely to think that the country is democratic. Moreover, the strength of this impact has been decreasing over time (Table 7 and 8). We also know that perception of corruption in South Africa decreased sharply in the early part of the 21st century (though there was an important spike in views of corruption in local government in 2006) (see Figure 7). This suggests that as the South African state has achieved greater success in controlling corruption and prosecuting high level officials involved therein, this issue is becoming less important to people’s considerations about the institutional supply of democracy. However, there is, yet again, little evidence that perceptions of corruption have any important links with demand for democracy. Table 7: Perceived Corruption Amongst National Government Officials 1995 1997 2000 2002 Satisfied With -.224*** -.158*** -.253*** -.119*** Democracy South Africa Is X X -.208*** -.144*** Democratic Democracy Always Best -.100*** -.073*** -.099*** X Support Democracy X X -.153*** -.077*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X .033 .085*** Reject Military Rule X X .021 .078*** Reject Presidential Rule X X .001 .031 Reject Return to X -.058*** -.175*** -.030 Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X -.058*** -.059*** .022
2004 -.163*** -.137*** X .002 .026 .053** .050** -.028 -.013
2006 -.152*** -.116*** X -.091*** .042* .026 -.011 -.029*** -.097***
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
Table 8: Perceived Corruption Amongst Local Government Officials 1995 1997 2000 2002 Satisfied With X -.045** -.056** X Democracy South Africa Is X X -.142*** X Democratic Democracy Always Best X -.045** -.056** X Support Democracy X X -.116*** X Reject 1 Party Rule X X .036 X Reject Military Rule X X .046 X Reject Presidential Rule X X .005 X Reject Return to X X -.107*** X Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X -.034*** -.021 X Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2004 X -.094*** X -.002 .049 .039** -.046**
2006 X -.060*** X -.060 .039* .049** -.003
Figure 7: Perceptions of Government Corruption Over Time (% “All of them” / “Most of them”)
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
50 44 41 25
50 46 45 24 24 21 18
45 44 36 23 23 22 13 26 22
2000 MPs President's Office
Natl Govt Officials Local Govt Officials
Local Govt Councillors
Turning to the next set of indicators, we find substantial evidence that popular evaluations of the capacity and willingness of local and national government officials to respond to public opinion forms a key part of citizens’ considerations of the institutional supply of democracy. However, as with corruption, we see that the size of that impact has decreased over the last six years (Tables 9 and 10). But in contrast to that issue, it is far from clear whether or not this would be seen as an institutional success? First of all, South Africans’ evaluations of the responsiveness of their elected officials is extremely low. Just 23 percent of people think that members of parliament “try their best to listen to what people like you have to say,” and 20 percent say so about their local councilors. There is no evidence that these levels have increased over time within South Africa, and comparatively, they are some the lowest levels registered in the Afrobarometer. Second, few institutional theorists would count the decreasing likelihood of citizens judging the quality of their democracy with reference to responsiveness as a success. And, as we have seen above, with some exceptions, South African’s evaluations of the responsiveness of elected officials is not strongly linked to their demand for democracy. Table 9: Perceived Responsiveness of National Government Officials 1995 1997 2000 2002 Satisfied With .149*** .399*** .356*** .225*** Democracy South Africa Is X X .281*** .194*** Democratic Democracy Always Best .032 .202*** .154*** X Support Democracy X X .230*** .160*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X -.045* .033 Reject Military Rule X X .025 .019 Reject Presidential Rule X X .009 .044* Reject Return to X X .237*** .140*** Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X .014 .063**** .073 Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2004 .136**** .095*** X X -.056*** -.041 .-.058*** .030 -.009
2006 .115*** .103*** X 035*** .005 .010 .008 .023 .027
Table 10: Perceived Responsiveness of Local Government Officials 1995 1997 2000 2002 Satisfied With .204*** .286*** .277*** .225*** Democracy South Africa Is X X .177*** .194*** Democratic Democracy Always Best .014 .120*** .067*** X Support Democracy X X .158*** .164*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X -.074*** .033 Reject Military Rule X X -.074*** .019 Reject Presidential Rule X X -.057 .044* Reject Return to X X .113*** Apartheid .140*** Unwilling to Live Under X .009 .055** .073*** Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2004 .136*** .120*** X -.033 -.042* -.028 -.048*** .053 -.032
2006 .147*** .111*** X .049* -008 -.020 -.004 -.021 .071***
We see substantial linkages of public evaluations of government performance on crime, and delivery of services like health services, water, education, and public perceptions of the supply of democracy. However, there are no clear trends over time. While we have a truncated time series on these items (Afrobarometer only began asking them in 2000), there is no evidence that people are less likely to connect these issues to the supply of democracy as government develops increased capacity to deliver these services (Tables 11 through 14). And while satisfaction with government ability to deliver services also increases popular support for democracy, there are no clear or consistent patterns in its impact on demand for democracy (and on some indicators, the impacts are negative: the more people are satisfied with service delivery, the less likely they are to oppose one party rule!). Table 11: Government Performance Reducing Crime 1995 1997 2000 Satisfied With X X .242*** Democracy South Africa Is X X .211*** Democratic Democracy Always Best X X .106*** Support Democracy X X .097*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X -.123*** Reject Military Rule X X -.057** Reject Presidential Rule X X -.074*** Reject Return to X X .147*** Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X X .059*** Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2002 .178*** .136*** X .112*** -.069*** -.066*** -.081*** .134*** .032
2004 .267*** .154*** X .049* -.166*** -.105*** -.150*** .016 -.067***
2006 .215*** .227*** X .043* -.032 .061** -.006 .098*** .059***
Table 12: Government Performance Delivering Health Services 1995 1997 2000 2002 Satisfied With X X .297*** .220*** Democracy South Africa Is X X .227*** .142*** Democratic Democracy Always Best X X .106*** X Support Democracy X X .132*** .110*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X -.095*** -.009 Reject Military Rule X X -.026 .026 Reject Presidential Rule X X -.063*** .029 Reject Return to X X .195*** .126*** Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X X .028 .040 Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2004 .230*** .168*** X .053** -.088*** -.029 -.084*** .120*** -.015
2006 .232*** .180*** X .108*** -.021 .018 .014 .112*** .017
Table 13: Government Performance Delivering Water 1995 1997 2000 Satisfied With X X .229*** Democracy South Africa Is X X .163*** Democratic Democracy Always Best X X .135*** Support Democracy X X .171*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X .057** Reject Military Rule X X .091*** Reject Presidential Rule X X .088*** Reject Return to X X .165*** Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X X .070*** Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2002 .181*** .139*** X .106*** .098*** .063*** .081*** .074*** .056***
2004 .230*** .180*** X .053** -.088*** -.029 -.084*** .120*** -.015
2006 .174*** .117*** X .093*** -.008 .038* .069*** .065*** .033
Table 14: Government Performance Meeting Educational Needs 1995 1997 2000 2002 Satisfied With X X .290*** .235*** Democracy South Africa Is X X .208*** .148*** Democratic Democracy Always Best X X .137*** X Support Democracy X X .164*** .115*** Reject 1 Party Rule X X -.092*** -.035* Reject Military Rule X X .016 .033 Reject Presidential Rule X X -.037* .031 Reject Return to X X .237*** .147*** Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X X .042* .020 Effective Autocracy
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
2004 .241*** .178*** X .063*** -.073*** -.033 -.101 .133*** -.041*
2006 .217*** .162*** X .115*** .032 .035* .014 .137*** -.005
WISE INSTITUTIONAL CHOICE? Finally, political institutions may affect democratic consolidation by providing rules that create incentives or disincentives for various behaviors that either facilitate or obstruct democratic practice (Lijphart, 1985; Grofman & Lijphart, 1986; Horowitz, 1991; Linz, 1991a and 1991b; Reynolds, 1999; Weaver & Rockman, 1993; Colomer, 2001; Reynolds, 2002;and MacCyntyre, 2003). The basic insight of what has came to be known as the “new institutionalism” in political science is that rules shape politics by providing incentives for some behaviors and disincentives for others (North, 1990). And if rules shape behavior, it follows that different sets of rules send out different sets of incentives and disincentives. Thus, new democracies must choose those rules which “disincentive” whatever behavioral maladies afflict a given political system and “incentivize” corrective or ameliorative behaviors. Institutionalists generally focus on constitutionalized rules about the type of state (unitary or federal), executive (presidential vs. parliamentary), and elections (majoritarian vs. proportional) (Liphart, 1985; DiPalma, 1990; Horowitz, 1991a and 199b; Linz, 1991a and 1991b; Sisk; 1996; Anderson & Guillory, 1997;
Reynolds, 1999; Norris, 1999; Reilly, 2002; Reynolds, 2002; MacCintyre, 2003; Colomer, 2003; and Bratton & Cho, 2005). Any constitutional settlement produces a wide matrix of rules and institutions making a precise one to one specification of which rules are supposed to produce which effects quite difficult. In general, South Africa’s constitution contained a number of devices that were expected to yield broad based democratic support, such as elected representative government, the universal franchise, and a Bill of Rights justiciable by the court system and a new Constitutional Court. However, the South African constitutional settlement included three specific devices that were clearly intended to have specific attitudinal outcomes for targeted sub groups. First of all, the adoption of an almost pure form of proportional representation voting system was clearly intended to induce widespread buy-in of elites, and to provide a stake to followers of a wide variety of political parties in the new democratic dispensation. Indeed, some political scientists claim to find evidence that political systems that use proportional representation have smaller gaps in key democratic attitudes between those who support the winning and losing parties than those systems that use plurality or majoritarian systems (Anderson & Guiloory, 1997). However, the South African data show that the gap between the perceived supply of democracy on the part of winners (those who identify with the African National Congress) versus losers (non partisans, as well as those who identify with opposition parties) is as big (if not bigger) in 2006 than in 1995. Thus, in South Africa, proportional representation has not succeeded in making the losers feel any better about the democratic system. Nor does the “winner” versus “loser” status seem to have any consistent pattern of impacts on indicators of democratic demand. Table 15: “Winner-Loser” Status 1995 Satisfied With .264*** Democracy South Africa Is X Democratic Democracy Always Best .077*** Support Democracy X Reject 1 Party Rule X Reject Military Rule X Reject Presidential Rule X Reject Return to X Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under X Effective Autocracy
1997 .257*** X .151*** X X X X X -.006
2000 .204*** .142*** .125*** .132*** -.059** .040* -.027 .235*** .029
2002 .133*** .094*** X .127*** -.038* .000 .005 .207*** -.004
2004 .279*** .269*** X .141*** -.058*** -.022 -.090*** .139*** .055**
2006 .297*** .228*** X .107*** -.130*** .031 .011 .113*** -.044*
Cells results report Tau B correlation coefficients
Beside proportional representation, South Africa’s constitutional engineers considered other ways to entice apparently hostile minority groups to buy into the new democratic dispensation. In a key compromise, federalism was a bitter pill swallowed by the African National Congress. Ultimately, this concession was justified on the basis that it would allow apparently hostile, and geographically clustered sub groups (notably Afrikaans and Zulu speakers, and people living in the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal) the ability to form regional majorities and control key areas of their lives through the device of the new provincial governments. However, the results displayed in Tables 16 and 17 indicate several surprising findings. First of all, the absolute size
of the attitudinal “gap” (as measured by Eta, a measure of association between ordinal variables (like satisfaction with democracy) and categorical variables (like ethnicity or region) between attitudes of respondents in KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape, or Afrikaans and Zulu speaking respondents on one hand, and the rest of the country on the other hand, have not diminished in any consistent way. Second, it is not clear that these provinces or ethnic groups were that “hostile” in the first place. Where there are statistically significant differences, the letters in brackets underneath the correlation coefficients in Tables 16 and 17 indicate the group that had the most democratic attitudes. In several instances over the past twelve years, the identity of these groups has been those very groups that federalism was apparently intended to address. Table 16: “Problem Provinces Vs. Rest of South Africa” 1995 1997 2000 Satisfied With .059* .086*** .112*** Democracy (SA) (SA) (KZN) South Africa Is X X .147*** Democratic (SA) Democracy Always .045 .078*** .098*** Best (SA) (WC) Support Democracy X X .043 Reject 1 Party Rule Reject Military Rule Reject Presidential Rule Reject Return to Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under Effective Autocracy X X X X X X X X X .116*** (WC) .117*** (WC) .102*** (WC) .077*** (WC) .141*** (SA) .019
2002 .078*** (WC) .048 X .130*** (SA) .056* (KZN) .116*** (WC/KZN) .058* (WC) .140*** (SA) .124*** (WC)
2004 .213*** (SA) .231*** (SA) X .068** (SA) .167*** (WC) .204*** (WC) .225*** (WC) .105*** (WC) .214*** (WC)
2006 .095*** (SA) .144*** (SA) X .037 .186*** (WC) .153*** (WC) .157***s (WC) .073*** (WC) .100*** (WC)
Cells results report Eta coefficients of association
Table 17: “Problem Ethnic Groups Vs. Rest of South Africa” 1995 1997 2000 Satisfied With .216*** .221*** .201*** Democracy (SA/Z) (SA) (Z) South Africa Is X X .157*** Democratic (SA) Democracy Always Best .041 .147*** .142*** (SA) (SA) Support Democracy X X .093**** (SA) Reject 1 Party Rule X X .195*** (SA) Reject Military Rule X X .116*** (SA) Reject Presidential Rule X X .176*** (A) Reject Return to X X .278*** Apartheid (SA) Unwilling to Live Under X .053** .054* Effective Autocracy (A) (A)
Cells results report Eta coefficients of association
2002 .038 .113*** (Z) X .166*** (SA) .023 .074*** (A) .042 .203*** (SA) .017
2004 .142*** (SA) .169*** (SA) X .037 .104*** (A) .093*** (A) .108*** (A) .104*** (Z) .136*** (A)
2006 .206*** (SA) .209*** (SA) X .121*** (SA) .074*** (A) .048 .058* (A) .133*** (SA) .116*** (A)
Finally, it is clear that South Africa’s constitutional engineers saw Truth and Reconciliation as a fundamental institutional tool with which to address simmering black resentment over apartheid’s multiple forms of oppression and repression, but also to induce racial minorities to reconcile with the black majority and build broad based support for the new political system (Gibson, 2004). Indeed, the results displayed in Table 18 suggest some significant reductions in attitudinal gaps over the past twelve years among the country’s four formerly official race groups in terms of both the perceived supply of democracy as well as the stated demand for democracy. As with the case with regard to federalism and territorialized ethnicity, however, the data in Table 18 also demonstrate that in many cases, the challenge has been to engineer the attitudes not only of racial minority groups. Whites and Indians, for example, have often been more likely than blacks to reject various forms of authoritarianism. Thus, while racial gaps are narrowing, this is often the result of both progress and retrogress on the part of different racial groups.
Table 18: Racial Differences 1995 Satisfied With .252*** Democracy (B) South Africa Is X Democratic Democracy Always Best .027 Support Democracy Reject 1 Party Rule Reject Military Rule Reject Presidential Rule Reject Return to Apartheid Unwilling to Live Under Effective Autocracy X X X X X X
1997 .327*** (B) X .172**** (B) X X X X X .126*** (C)
2000 .290*** (B) .221*** (B) .158*** (B) .138* (B) .214*** (W) .037 .167*** (W) .349*** (B) .100*** (W)
2002 .144*** (C) .105*** (B) X .173*** (B) .123*** (W) .053 .046*** .218*** (B) .088*** (W)
2004 .266*** (B) .267*** (B) X .107*** (W) .229*** (W) .167*** (W) .218*** (W) .125*** (C) .178*** (C)
2006 .152*** (B/I) .149*** (I) X .105*** (I) .097*** (I) .087*** (I) .092*** (I) .159 (I) .055
Cells results report Eta coefficients of association
CONCLUSIONS While more detailed multivariate and cross national analysis is clearly needed, some important generalizations may be drawn fro this preliminary analyses of aggregate time series public opinion data. First, public evaluations of the supply of democracy also appear to be moving sharply upward. However, despite a strong commitment on behalf of the African National Congress to build legitimate political institutions and a participatory democracy, the “demand curve” for democracy remains flat and, in some areas is declining. Moreover, not only are the trend line flat, but these levels of demand are relatively low compared with other African societies. Why has this occurred, especially in face of international admiration of South Africa’s new political institutions and the intensive approach to institutionalization pursued by the South African government since 1994? I close by identifying three possible answers that need to be explored with more detailed research. First, institutionalization may be a necessary but insufficient condition for democratization. Second, South Africa may have chosen the wrong institutions. Third, our knowledge of institutions is extremely incomplete. Institutions Are A Necessary But Insufficient Condition for Consolidation This viewpoint would highlight the fact that indicators of supply appear to have been maintained at strong levels, if not increased, even while indicators of demand (especially with regard to demand for democracy, legitimacy and citizenship) remain relatively or even very weak. In other words, institutions do not always generate their own demand (Fukuyama, 2005). While the major focus of South Africa’s democratization process has been on designing institutions that would satisfying an inclusive range of political elites, and subsequently on building institutional capacity for “delivery,” there has been an insufficient focus on – for the want of a better term -- “winning hearts and minds” to democracy.
We have clear evidence that while perceptions of the supply of democracy are based on what people think about the economic and political performance of political institutions, demand for democracy is largely created by the development of cognitive skills amongst the citizenry (Bratton, Mattes & Gyimah-Boadi, 2005). This directs us to an intensive analysis of what has been, and has not been in South Africa in terms of civic education, both with regard to adults as well as adolescents. South Africa Chose the Wrong Institutions Institutions are not chosen out of a vacuum, but result from negotiations based on “present position” bargaining. Thus, resulting institutions often favor politically stronger parties, especially if negotiations were characterized by sharp power asymmetries, which we argue was the case in South Africa at least from 1992. While South Africa’s set of institutional choices may have been necessary to draw as wide a set of relevant political leaders and parties into negotiations and induce the widest possible agreement on an interim and final constitution, these institutions ay be detrimental to the subsequent consolidation of democracy, as well as deepening the quality of democracy. South Africa’s institutional matrix has simply too few “veto players” or institutions of countervailing power with which to check the hegemonic aspirations of the electorally dominant African National Congress, or to fracture that party. Its dominance over its “deployed” membership in the civil service and national, provincial and local legislatures not only limits the full institutionalizations of these bodies, but also provides ordinary citizens with strong disincentives against participation such as voting, or contacting elected officials. Of even greater concern is the fact that changing these institutions will be extremely difficult given the interests of the dominant ANC in maintaining the present rules. This underscores the necessity for institutional designers to look not only on what set of rules will obtain the quickest and widest political consensus in the early stages of democratization, but to peer into the future and consider whether various “institutional path legacies” will support or corrode the development of a vibrant democracy (North, 1990; and Reynolds, 2005). Our Imperfect Knowledge of Political Institutions While most institutionalists will posit the appropriate caveats about the effects of local context, one could be forgiven for concluding after a reading of the neo-institutionalist literature that the political, social and economic consequences of institutional choice are constant across time and space. But there are many good reasons why same institution may produce greatly varying consequences depending upon local context (Przeworski, 2005). Returning to Reynolds’ (2005) analogy of the institutional designer as clinical physician, political institutions are chosen based on imperfect, untested prognoses of a country’s political futures, both with and without the prescribed institutional medicine. Furthermore, while some institutional scholars are beginning to pay more attention to the unique consequences of specific combinations of institutions (such as the combination of presidentialism and proportional representation), few scholars pay close attention to broader combinations, or what Reynolds (2005) likens to drug interaction effects. In the case of South Africa, the interaction of closed list proportional representation electoral rules, a parliamentary system, constitutional rules enabling draconian central party control over legislators, and extremely weak federalism, combined with a history of strong party discipline and the electoral dominance of the ANC one party dominance has had particularly pernicious effects. Second, political institutions are almost always designed to correct the past (especially in situations of post-conflict democratization), and the past is unique in every country. Thus,
political institutions will work differently depending on how local actors use or misuse them. In the case of South Africa, a great deal of institutional design and the emphasis of subsequent institutional development has been shaped by the ANC’s largely substantive, socio-economic understanding of democracy as well as its conceptual distinction between and favoring of “participatory” democracy over “representative” democracy. Oddly, these two important aspects of ANC thought were based on fundamentally different assumptions about politics and individual citizens. On one hand, it held a hard headed view, based in classic Marxist materialist thought, of the citizen motivated to support the democratic system and pay his or her taxes purely by economic incentives rather than by representative and responsive government. On the other hand, the ANC held a decidedly wooly, wholly romantic view of the citizen motivated to participate in politics by innate desire, interest and duty. Thus, institutions were designed to provide “forums” for participation but no political incentive. Finally, the ANC’s own commitments to building institutional competence and effectiveness in economic planning and delivery have collided with its desire to achieve “hegemony” and its hesitation to allow the development of institutional autonomy, perspective and loyalty that is a necessary part of successful institutionalization. To summarize, while a significant amount of more intensive empirical research needs to be done, this initial test of this expanded supply and demand model on the South African case has provided evidence to support a number of tentative generalizations about the role of political institutions in the consolidation of democracy. First of all, foreign donors, international scholars and local institutional designers need to pay much more attention to the implications of proposed political institutions in the post settlement phase, and pay special attention to the particular consequences of the overall package of proposed institutions and their possible interaction effects, as well as the unique effects of local context on institutional consequences. Second, while institutionalists are well-versed at teasing out the implied logic of various political rules for elite behaviour, they need to pay more serious attention to the ways that various political institutions can send the wrong signals to rational citizens and take away any incentives to participate in democratic processes or comply with the democratic state. And finally, they should realize that “getting the institutions right” is a necessary but insufficient step to democratic consolidation. But in order to generate public demand for democracy and good governance, donors and national policy makers need to look to other areas, such as sustained national civic education in order to develop the cognitive political skills of the citizenry.
I would like to thank Amanda Lucey of the University of Cape Town and Joseph Tucker and Andrew Brooks of the National Endowment for Democracy for their assistance in the preparation of the data bank upon which this paper is based. I would also like to thank the National Endowment for Democracy and the Reagan-Fascell Fellowship for valuable support that supported initial research on this project. Finally, I would like to thank the following people for their helpful comments during earlier presentations of these arguments: Michael Bratton, Jeremy Seekings, Kahreen Tabeau, Richard Rose, Roland Rich, Shaheen Mozaffar, Michael McFaul, Peter Lewis, Hoon Jaung, Steve Finkel, Larry Diamond and Marianne Camerer. While it may not have had a rule of just law, it was at least what Migdal (2002) refers to as “rule by law” (emphasis added). As journalist Patti Waldmeir (1997: 92) observed of the government’s decision to accede to Robben Island prisoners’ demands for things like newspapers and sporting activities, “measures like allowing access to newspapers—which Mandela has always said had a profound impact on the decision to start negotiations—were taken, not for any grant strategic reasons, but to remove an irritant: a flood of court cases. Other regimes, which felt less need to provide legal justification for their oppression, might simply have ignored such challenges. Not the National Party, it like to think that it lived by the law.” To be sure, the period under successive states of emergency in the 1980s were characterized by an increased level of lawless behaviour on the part of state security forces. Lijphart’s ideas influenced National Party thinking as early as 1982 during its first attempt at constitutional reform. What would become the 1983 Tricameral Constitution created separate legislative assemblies and cabinets to look after the “own affairs” of the white, coloured and Indian race groups (no serious effort was made to bring black South Africans into this dispensation) and a complicated formula for making decisions about “common affairs” that was loaded in favor of whatever political party that controlled the white assembly. However, the plan was ultimately disavowed by Liphart (1985) and labeled “sham” consociationalism by other analysts (Du Toit, 1989). Other academics advanced alternative forms of power-sharing that, more like the liberal approach, strove to force ethnic groups, or at least their leaders, to work together as much as possible. Donald Horowitz (1991a & 1991b) advocated a federal system with units drawn as to combine rather than separate groups, a presidential executive required to win minimum threshold across the country, and Alternative Vote electoral rules intended to induce political parties to moderate their claims to appeal for the 2nd and 3rd preferences of other parties’ supporters. For example, the ANC agreed to a Government of National Unity based on a proportional cabinet in which all parties with 10 percent of the vote were represented and all parties with 20 percent of the vote able to appoint a Deputy President, and which would operate in the spirit of consensus. But after just two years of operation, the National Party members realized that the ANC had little intention in consulting them on anything of real importance, and also saw that the Constitutional Assembly was ready to scrap the entire idea, and thus walked out. With regard to federalism, the interim document gave some significant exclusive and concurrent powers to the federal provinces including writing their own constitutions. But the ANC never exercised any of these powers in the provinces it controlled, and the Constitutional Assembly removed all exclusive powers from the final constitution. In terms of local government, the interim constitution provided a large number of relatively small local government units, with a two tiered system in metropolitan areas, and over-representation for white voters in most councils (though for historical reasons, black areas were effectively overrepresented in the Western Cape). But the two tiered system of metropolitan municipal government was abandoned in the final constitution in favor of “mega cities” run by executive mayors, and the total number of local governments was severely reduced thus increasing the size but decreasing the accountability of local government. Part of this can be attributed to the equally breathtaking and nearly totalitarian nature of the apartheid regime the ANC was trying to displace which itself had attempted to control a wide range of human behavior ranging from politics, to economics, to social and even sexual interaction. Part of this also has its roots in the hubris that accumulates in an organization that had eventually emerged victorious after
vi v iii ii i
dedicating its eight years of existence to defeating white rule in South Africa. And at least part of it has its roots in it that strand of its political thought based in Marxism and Marxist understandings of historical determinism. As it turns out, these goals correspond quite well with an analytic framework developed by political scientists to categorize and understand public opinion (Almond & Verba, 1962; Norris, 1999).
The ANC’s National Executive Committee had concluded by 1999 that the strategic environment was characterized by a “Consolidated legitimacy of the democratic order, marginalizing any forces that had intentions of strategic violent counter-revolution” (Cited in ANC, 2002a, Part 1). On the whole, how would you rate the freeness and fairness of the last national elections, held in XXXX * Completely free and fair * Free and fair, but with minor problems * Free and fair, with major problems * Not free and fair
In your opinion, how much of a democracy is ____ (insert country name) today? * A full democracy * A democracy, but with minor problems * A democracy, but with major problems * Not a democracy How satisfied are you with the way democracy works in ____ (insert country name)? * Very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied. “Some people say that we would be better off if we had a different system of government. Would you approve or disapprove of…?” • Military rule • One-party rule • One-man rule • Return to the system of rule we had under apartheid “If a non-elected government or leader could impose law and order, and deliver houses and jobs, how willing or unwilling would you be to give up regular elections and live under such a government? * Very unwilling, unwilling, willing, very willing
xii xi x
Which of these three statements is closest to your own opinion? A. Democracy is preferable to any other form of government B. In certain situations, a non-democratic government can be preferable C. To people like me, it doesn’t matter what form of government we have.”
Sometimes democracy does not work. When this happens, some people say that we need a strong leader who does not have to bother with elections. Others say that even when things don’t work, democracy is always best. What do you think? With which statement do you agree with most: A. Need strong leader B. Democracy always best”
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AFROBAROMETER WORKING PAPERS
No.82 Mattes, Robert. “Democracy Without People: Political Institutions and Citizenship in the New South Africa.” 2007.
No.81 Armah-Attoh, Daniel, E Gyimah-Boadi and Annie Barbara Chikwanha. “Corruption and
Institutional Trust in Africa: Implications For Democratic Development.” 2007. No.80 Wantchekon, Leonard and Gwendolyn Taylor. “Political Rights versus Public Goods: Uncovering the Determinants of Satisfaction with Democracy in Africa.” 2007. Chang, Eric. “Political Transition, Corruption, and Income Inequality in Third Wave Democracies.” 2007. Battle, Martin and Seely, Jennifer C. “It’s All Relative: Competing Models of Vote Choice in Benin.” 2007. Wantchekon, Leonard, Paul-Aarons Ngomo, Babaly Sall and Mohamadou Sall. “Support for Competitive Politics and Government Performance: Public Perceptions of Democracy in Senegal.” 2007. Graham, Carol and Matthew Hoover. “Optimism and Poverty in Africa: Adaptation or a Means to Survival?” 2007. Evans, Geoffrey and Pauline Rose. “Education and Support for Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Testing Mechanisms of Influence.” 2007. Levi, Margaret and Audrey Sacks. “Legitimating Beliefs: Sources and Indicators.” 2007. McLean, Lauren Morris. “The Micro-Dynamics of Welfare State Retrenchment and the Implications for Citizenship in Africa.” 2007. Ferree, Karen and Jeremy Horowitz. “Identity Voting and the Regional Census in Malawi.” 2007. Cho, Wonbin and Matthew F. Kirwin. “A Vicious Circle of Corruption and Mistrust in Institutions in sub-Saharan Africa: A Micro-level Analysis.” 2007. Logan, Carolyn, Thomas P. Wolf and Robert Sentamu. “Kenyans and Democracy: What Do They Really Want From It Anyway?” 2007. Uslaner, Eric. “Corruption and the Inequality Trap in Africa.” 2007. Lewis, Peter. “Identity, Institutions and Democracy in Nigeria.” 2007. Mattes, Robert. “Public Opinion Research in Emerging Democracies: Are the Processes Different?” 2007. Cho, Wonbin. “Ethnic Fractionalization, Electoral Institutions, and Africans’ Political Attitudes.” 2007.
No.69 No.68 No.67
Bratton, Michael. “Are You Being Served? Popular Satisfaction with Health and Education Services in Africa.” 2006. Fernandez, Kenneth E. and Michelle Kuenzi. “Crime and Support for Democracy: Revisiting Modernization Theory.” 2006. Bratton, Michael and Carolyn Logan. “Voters But Not Yet Citizens: The Weak Demand for Vertical Accountability in Africa’s Unclaimed Democracies.” 2006. Bratton, Michael and Mxolisi Sibanyoni. “Delivery or Responsiveness? A Popular Scorecard of Local Government Performance in South Africa.” 2006. The Afrobarometer Network. “Citizens and the State in Africa: New Results From Afrobarometer Round 3.” 2006. The Afrobarometer Network. “Where is Africa going? Views From Below: A Compendium of Trends in Public Opinion in 12 African Countries, 1999-2006.” 2006.
No.59 Bratton, Michael and Eldred Masunungure. “Popular Reactions to State Repression: Operation Murambatsvina in Zimbabwe.” 2006. No.58 Logan, Carolyn and Michael Bratton. “The Political Gender Gap in Africa: Similar Attitudes, Different Behaviors.” 2006. No.57 Evans, Geoffrey and Pauline Rose. “Support for Democracy in Malawi: Does Schooling Matter?” 2006. Bratton, Michael. “Poor People and Democratic Citizenship in Africa.” 2006. Moehler, Devra C. “Free and Fair or Fraudulent and Forged: Elections and Legitimacy in Africa.” 2005. Stasavage, David. “Democracy and Primary School Attendance: Aggregate and Individual Level Evidence from Africa.” 2005.
No. 53 Reis, Deolinda, Francisco Rodrigues and Jose Semedo. “ Atitudes em Relação à Qualidade da Democracia em Cabo Verde.” 2005. No. 52 Lewis, Peter and Etannibi Alemika. “Seeking the Democratic Dividend: Public Attitudes and Attempted Reform in Nigeria.” 2005. No. 51 Kuenzi, Michelle and Gina Lambright. “Who Votes in Africa? An Examination of Electoral Turnout in 10 African Countries.” 2005. No.50 Mattes, Robert and Doh Chull Shin. “The Democratic Impact of Cultural Values in Africa and Asia: The Cases of South Korea and South Africa.” 2005. Cho, Wonbin and Michael Bratton. “Electoral Institutions, Partisan Status, and Political Support: A Natural Experiment from Lesotho.” 2005. Bratton, Michael and Peter Lewis. “The Durability of Political Goods? Evidence from Nigeria’s New Democracy.” 2005. Keulder, Christiaan and Tania Wiese. “Democracy Without Democrats? Results from the 2003 Afrobarometer Survey in Namibia.” 2005.
Khaila, Stanley and Catherine Chibwana. “Ten Years of Democracy in Malawi: Are Malawians Getting What They Voted For?” 2005. Schedler, Andreas and Rodolfo Sarsfield. “Democrats with Adjectives: Linking Direct and Indirect Measures of Democratic Support.” 2004. Bannon, Alicia, Edward Miguel, and Daniel N. Posner. “Sources of Ethnic Identification in Africa.” 2004. Bratton, Michael. “State Building and Democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Forwards, Backwards, or Together?” 2004. Chikwanha, Annie, Tulani Sithole, and Michael Bratton. “The Power of Propaganda: Public Opinion in Zimbabwe, 2004.” 2004. Mulenga, Chileshe L., Annie Barbara Chikwanha, and Mbiko Msoni. “Satisfaction with Democracy and Performance of the New Deal Government: Attitudes and Perceptions of Zambians.” 2004. Ferree, Karen E. “The Micro-Foundations of Ethnic Voting: Evidence from South Africa.” 2004. Cho, Wonbin. “Political Institutions and Satisfaction with Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa.” 2004. Mattes, Robert. “Understanding Identity in Africa: A First Cut.” 2004. Leysens, Anthony J. “Marginalisation in Southern Africa: Transformation from Below?” 2004. Sall, Babaly and Zeric Kay Smith, with Mady Dansokho. “Libéralisme, Patrimonialisme ou Autoritarisme Atténue : Variations autour de la Démocratie Sénégalaise.” 2004. Coulibaly, Massa and Amadou Diarra. “Démocratie et légtimation du marché: Rapport d’enquête Afrobaromètre au Mali, décembre 2002.” 2004. The Afrobarometer Network. “Afrobarometer Round 2: Compendium of Results from a 15Country Survey.” 2004. Wolf, Thomas P., Carolyn Logan, and Jeremiah Owiti. “A New Dawn? Popular Optimism in Kenya After the Transition.” 2004. Gay, John and Robert Mattes. “The State of Democracy in Lesotho.” 2004. Mattes, Robert and Michael Bratton. “Learning about Democracy in Africa: Awareness, Performance, and Experience.” 2003 Pereira, Joao, Ines Raimundo, Annie Chikwanha, Alda Saute, and Robert Mattes. “Eight Years of Multiparty Democracy in Mozambique: The Public’s View.” 2003 Gay, John. “Development as Freedom: A Virtuous Circle?” 2003. Gyimah-Boadi, E. and Kwabena Amoah Awuah Mensah. “The Growth of Democracy in Ghana. Despite Economic Dissatisfaction: A Power Alternation Bonus?” 2003.
No.38 No.37 No.36
Logan, Carolyn J., Nansozi Muwanga, Robert Sentamu, and Michael Bratton. “Insiders and Outsiders: Varying Perceptions of Democracy and Governance in Uganda.” 2003. Norris, Pippa and Robert Mattes. “Does Ethnicity Determine Support for the Governing Party?” 2003. Ames, Barry, Lucio Renno and Francisco Rodrigues. “Democracy, Market Reform, and Social Peace in Cape Verde.” 2003. Mattes, Robert, Christiaan Keulder, Annie B. Chikwana, Cherrel Africa and Yul Derek Davids. “Democratic Governance in South Africa: The People’s View.” 2003. Mattes, Robert, Michael Bratton and Yul Derek Davids. “Poverty, Survival, and Democracy in Southern Africa.” 2003. Pereira, Joao C. G., Yul Derek Davids and Robert Mattes. “Mozambicans’ Views of Democracy and Political Reform: A Comparative Perspective.” 2003. Whiteside, Alan, Robert Mattes, Samantha Willan and Ryann Manning. “Examining HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa Through the Eyes of Ordinary Southern Africans.” 2002. Lewis, Peter, Etannibi Alemika and Michael Bratton. “Down to Earth: Changes in Attitudes Towards Democracy and Markets in Nigeria.” 2002. Bratton, Michael. “Wide but Shallow: Popular Support for Democracy in Africa.” 2002. Chaligha, Amon, Robert Mattes, Michael Bratton and Yul Derek Davids. “Uncritical Citizens and Patient Trustees? Tanzanians’ Views of Political and Economic Reform.” 2002. Simutanyi, Neo. “Challenges to Democratic Consolidation in Zambia: Public Attitudes to Democracy and the Economy.” 2002. Tsoka, Maxton Grant. “Public Opinion and the Consolidation of Democracy in Malawi.” 2002. Keulder, Christiaan. “Public Opinion and Consolidation of Democracy in Namibia.” 2002. Lekorwe, Mogopodi, Mpho Molomo, Wilford Molefe, and Kabelo Moseki. “Public Attitudes Toward Democracy, Governance, and Economic Development in Botswana.” 2001. Gay, John and Thuso Green. “Citizen Perceptions of Democracy, Governance, and Political Crisis in Lesotho.” 2001. Chikwanha-Dzenga, Annie Barbara, Eldred Masunungure, and Nyasha Madingira. “Democracy and National Governance in Zimbabwe: A Country Survey Report.” 2001.
No.16 No.15 No.14
No. 11 The Afrobarometer Network. “Afrobarometer Round I: Compendium of Comparative Data from a Twelve-Nation Survey.” 2002 No.10 Bratton, Michael and Robert Mattes. “Popular Economic Values and Economic Reform in Southern Africa.” 2001. Bratton, Michael, Massa Coulibaly, and Fabiana Machado. “Popular Perceptions of Good Governance in Mali.” March 2000.
Mattes, Robert, Yul Derek Davids, and Cherrel Africa. “Views of Democracy in South Africa and the Region: Trends and Comparisons.” October 2000. Mattes, Robert, Yul Derek Davids, Cherrel Africa, and Michael Bratton. “Public Opinion and the Consolidation of Democracy in Southern Africa.” July 2000. Bratton, Michael and Gina Lambright. “Uganda’s Referendum 2000: The Silent Boycott.” 2001. Bratton, Michael and Robert Mattes. “Democratic and Market Reforms in Africa: What ‘the People’ Say.” 2000. Bratton, Michael, Gina Lambright, and Robert Sentamu. “Democracy and Economy in Uganda: A Public Opinion Perspective.” 2000. Lewis, Peter M. and Michael Bratton. “Attitudes to Democracy and Markets in Nigeria.” 2000. Bratton, Michael, Peter Lewis, and E. Gyimah-Boadi. “Attitudes to Democracy and Markets in Ghana.” 1999. Bratton, Michael and Robert Mattes. “Support for Democracy in Africa: Intrinsic or Instrumental?” 1999.