South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 heralded the end of more than forty years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity started the process of bringing together this deeply divided society principally through the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
However, interest in – and responsibility for - the reconciliation project first embodied through the TRC appears to have diminished over more than two decades of democracy. The narrow mandate of the Commission itself has been retrospectively criticised, and at face value it would seem that deep divisions persist: the chasm between rich and poor gapes wider than ever before; the public is polarised over questions of restitution and memorialisation; and incidents of racialised violence and hate speech continue.
This edited volume uses a decade of public opinion survey data to answer these key questions about the extent of progress in South African reconciliation. Leading social scientists analyse longitudinal data derived from the South African Reconciliation Barometer Survey (SARB) – conducted annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation since 2003 as well as interrogate and reach critical conclusions on the state of reconciliation, including in the areas of economic transformation, race relations and social contact, political participation, national identity formation and transitional justice. Their findings both confirm and disrupt theory on reconciliation and social change, and point to critical new directions in thinking and policy implementation.
- Measuring social change in South Africa
Part 1 Transitional justice
- Truth, redress and reconciliation: Evaluating transitional justice from below
- A comparison of the reconciliation barometers in South Africa and Rwanda
Part 2 Social relationships
- Contact and reconciliation
- Urbanisation, racial desegregation and the changing character of interracial contact
Part 3 Transformation
- The social consequences of class formation among black South Africans in the 2000s
- Affirmative action in the workplace: From numbers to dialogue
- Rejuvenating reconciliation with transformation
Part 4 Political participation and institutions
- Does political trust lead to reconciliation?
- Why postapartheid South Africans rebel: Social protest, public participation and trust in institutions
- Parties and elections as instruments of reconciliation and social cohesion
Part 5 Identity
- Building a nation: Considering uncertain outcomes
- The surprising growth in minority support for the 'rainbow nation'
- The South African error: Restorative justice sans social recompense