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A Study Of The Transformation Of The Political Party System In South Africa

Posted on:2016-05-21Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:T ZhangFull Text:PDF
GTID:2296330461985300Subject:Scientific Socialism and the international communist movement
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The development of a political party can be seen as a cohesive integration of political interests of different social classes, which is a rather dynamic than static process. The continuously shifting power of political interests might greatly influence the formation of the party system, which is a tentatively rather than a permanentstable presentation of politics. Understanding the political party system is a key to understand the political relationships within a state.This thesis takes the interest on the formation and transformation of the party system in South Africa, as a representative case amongst developing countries in terms of the economy, and amongst contemporary nation-states in terms of politics, which is also comparable with the case of China. Understanding the representativeness of the case of South Africa from the perspective political science may lead us toward the thinking of China’s continuous construction of political party system.This thesis takes the quantitative approach, collecting data from South Africa’s official statistic websites, the World Bank, and so forth reliable sources, to construct the theoretical framework to understand South African political party system. Through a comparative analysis of the data of the critical periods in South Africa’s history, this study attempts to uncover the historical necessity of the birth and growth of its political party system. The study also takes the empirical dimensional analysis.With the aid of the analysis of the individual and collective political psychology,to explore people’s political behavior, and relationship between the political mentality and structure, this approach may promote the scholarly thinking of the political phenomenon and the adjustment of theoretical frameworks by taking into account of social, national, economic, political, and so forth variables. This study is grounded in the political science, focusing on the key issues such as democracy, the rule of law, etc., attempting to map the transformation of the party system in South Africa throughout the past two decades, and possibly to provide an insight for its future development.The South Africa’s party system is developing toward a modern political system, which is a transformation generated by globalization, democratization, and modernization, from unitarianism to pluralism, from authoritarianism to democracy. The structure of the state and the electoral institution is the key to the restraint of the power of the ruling party. The stratification of the society and the emergence of the civil society provide the balance between the ruling party and the state. And the ideology and the culture of the ruling party play the role of "glue" for the integration and the association between the party, the state, and the society. All these political practices and experiments have produced examples and lessons for China’s construction and reform of the political system.This thesis argues that the political party system is by nature an institutional presentation of the relationships within political parties, and between parties and the state, which tend to be a dialectical state-the formation and adjustment within one party might become the source for the relationship between parties, such relationship may influence or be influenced by the relationship between parties and the state. Thus, the thesis may propose a three-layer model of relationships, which is the relationship within and between political parties, and the relationship between parties and the state, for the comprehensive of the party system. This system is oriented toward the value of democracy and the rule of law, aiming to maximize the performance and functions of political parties in the service of the civil society. Based on this model, the relationships within the party system in South Africa can be categorized into two types, namely, the cooperative and the competitive. In practice, both the two types though having appeared authoritarianism, are seeking a restraint of power, and marching toward a balanced democratic institution. In general, though the types of party systems vary between different countries, the systems that are best adapted to the social, economic and political context, and are able to facilitate the democracy in the contemporary civil society, are likely to have a promising future. The modernization and the institutionalization of the political party is the fundamental approach to the stability of the state polity.The study of party politics is an emerging academic discipline. A broad research on the cases of other countries will on one hand benefit this discipline; on the other hand, it will help advance the Chinese Communist Party’s governing capacity. This thesis aims to provide new perspectives and advice for the development of China’s party system through the study of issues of the development of the party system of South Africa. The thesis will argue that the scientific innovation of political theories may help the development of the governing capacity of the political party. The party will maintain its competitiveness through the enhancement of the democracy and the rule of law within the party. The construction of ideology is the key to retain the loyalty of party members, and to gain recognition of the society. And the efficiency and effectiveness of the government is the source to the legitimacy of the ruling party. The development of the party system is a long-term process, in which the ruling party needs to play a directorial role. The ruling party, profoundly grounded in the historical and cultural contexts of the nation, also needs to adapt itself to the rapidly changing social context, so that it can maintain its vitality in modern age.
Keywords/Search Tags:Political party system, Transformation, Political Party, Relationships between Parties, Relationships between Party & Govern, Relationships between Party & Society
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