The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Rethinking  Reconciliation

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.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm
Pages : 384
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2554-1
Publish Year : March 2017
Rights : World Rights

Introduction

  1. Measuring social change in South Africa

Part 1 Transitional justice

  1. Truth, redress and reconciliation: Evaluating transitional justice from below
  2. A comparison of the reconciliation barometers in South Africa and Rwanda

Part 2 Social relationships

  1. Contact and reconciliation
  2. Urbanisation, racial desegregation and the changing character of interracial contact

Part 3 Transformation

  1. The social consequences of class formation among black South Africans in the 2000s
  2. Affirmative action in the workplace: From numbers to dialogue
  3. Rejuvenating reconciliation with transformation

Part 4 Political participation and institutions

  1. Does political trust lead to reconciliation?
  2. Why postapartheid South Africans rebel: Social protest, public participation and trust in institutions
  3. Parties and elections as instruments of reconciliation and social cohesion

Part 5 Identity

  1. Building a nation: Considering uncertain outcomes
  2. The surprising growth in minority support for the 'rainbow nation'

Conclusion

  1. The South African error: Restorative justice sans social recompense

KATE LEFKO-EVERETT is an independent social science researcher and a Senior Associate at the IJR. She previously was employed by the IJR as senior project leader for the SARB (2009 – 2013), and conceptualised the edited volume during that time. She has published widely, including in the popular press, contributions to edited volumes (including the State of the Nation 2014, published by the HSRC) and in peer reviewed journals. Recent articles include: "Leaving it to the Children: Non-Racialism, Identity, Socialisation and Generational Change in South Africa" (book chapter, London and New York: Routledge, 2014); and" Beyond race?: Exploring indicators of (dis)advantage to achieve SA equity goals" (article, Transformation, No 79, 2012). She has a BA from Vassar College (New York, USA) and a Masters in Applied Social Research from Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland).

RAJEN GOVENDER is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR). He previously served Professor of Economics at Tshwane University of Technology. He has taught at various universities in South Africa and the USA over the past 25 years, and since 1995 founded and managed a successful research consultancy doing national and international work in the public, private and civil society sectors. He has a BA and Honours from UKZN, an MA from New York University, and an MA and PhD from UCLA. His doctorate examined various models positing relative deprivation and organisational mobilisation as explanations for political activism. His specialisation is in political psychology, research design and quantitative methods.

Professor Govender has also worked closely with the IJR in the development, design and testing of the next iteration of the SARB survey, due to go into the field in mid-2015.

DON FOSTER is Professor of Psychology at UCT, and an internationally established expert in this field. He has published widely, including through the HSRC Press, with titles including: Detention and torture in South Africa (co-authored with D Davis and D Sandler, Cape Town: David Philip, 1987); Perspectives on metal handicap in South Africa (co-authored with S Lea, Durban: Butterworths, 1990); Social psychology in South Africa (co-edited with J Louw-Potgieter, Johannesburg: Lexicon, 1991); Towards peaceful protest in South Africa (co-authored with P Heymann, L Brown, C Fijnaut et al, Pretoria: HSRC, 1992); and Mental health policy issues for South Africa (co-edited with J M Freeman and Y Pillay, Cape Town: MASA Multimedia, 1997).

Professor Foster is a long-serving Board member of the IJR.

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