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Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen.                             

Topical seminar: South Africa 's years of freedom: the past lives on in the future.


Teaching theme



Topical seminar: South Africa's years of freedom: the past lives on in the future.


South Africa have had several democratic elections and decades have now elapsed since the fall of apartheid and the dissolution of its last white government. During this time South Africa has developed from Rainbowism to African Renaissance and New Patriotism.

The intention with this seminar is to look broadly at the performance of the South African democracy since 1994, to analyse the political, social, and economic challenges that continue to confront it, and to consider future prospects. This endeavour will take its point of departure in the South African history.

Social and ethnic barriers in the South African society will be unveiled through historiographical testing of divergent opinions of segregation and apartheid. Reasons for the breakdown of apartheid, including economic globalisation, international sanctions and popular mobilisation, will be compared with hope and realism in the new nation. Can the South African example enlighten us on connections between development level and authoritarian rule or show new possibilities for transitional societies?

Borderlines of knowledgepower in international South Africa research will be surveyed and methodologies for collecting sources and organising data in the field of research will be reviewed.

Students individual study interests will determine which specific topics should be examined further. Developments in higher education, gender issues and violence, the role of civil society, the history of international solidarity, the Nordic transitional aid, the impact of the Truth Commission, urban renewal and rural development, evolution in culture and media could be among the possibilities.

Students are expected to identify an area of focus early in the course and to contribute with one or more classroom presentations.

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