An Examination Of The Role Of Civil Society In Conflict Resolution In South Africa (A Case Study Of The Fall Of Apartheid)

Project and Seminar Material for International Relations

An Examination Of The Role Of Civil Society In Conflict Resolution In South Africa (A Case Study Of The Fall Of Apartheid)


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of Study

One of the most brutal governments in human history existed during the apartheid era (Taylor, 2002, p.69). For nearly fifty years, the apartheid government imposed a violent system founded on white supremacy, resulting in a country dominated by white supremacy and oppression of the black, coloured, and Indian populations. Members of suppressed races were compelled to live in a system based on horrifyingly unfair legislation and bred by injustices. The apartheid system flourished on unequal economic, social, and political policies that developed such a strong framework of inequality that the residue of apartheid is still obvious today, even though the regime has been deposed for more than two decades. Various attempts at resistance by the subjugated populace occurred under apartheid. However, the National Party government preferred to respond to the opposition with harsh sanctions and, in some cases, violence. The apartheid system underwent a series of adjustments beginning in the late 1970s and extending into the 1980s, making it increasingly vulnerable to the resistance movement. The state retaliated with more harsh steps in response to escalating resistance, and the high level of violence (on both sides of the conflict) drew international attention. There was a substantial resistance movement within the country from the beginning of apartheid, but the banning orders on various political parties and other like-minded organizations made it difficult to maintain this opposition. The African National Congress (ANC), the Black Consciousness Movement, the Communist Party, and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) are frequently listed as the campaign’s leaders when discussing the anti-apartheid movement. Of course, these political groups and movements played a vital and leading role in the resistance movement. Nonetheless, the resistance movement extended far beyond the political realm. Civil society organizations played a critical role in the anti-apartheid movement’s implementation, execution, and maintenance, both within South Africa and internationally. The goal of this thesis is to gain better knowledge of the function of civil society in conflict resolution, specifically what role civil society groups played during the apartheid government and, more crucially, during the resistance movement and conflict settlement.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

This study’s research problem is a descriptive research problem that will look into the function of civil society in conflict resolution. This research problem was created after a thorough review of the literature on the effects of civil society organizations on conflict resolution. The research problem was developed through a review of the literature on various scenarios and examples of civil society involvement in the anti-apartheid movement, as well as the role that these organizations played in the conflict resolution process, particularly in the development and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As a result, the purpose of this research is to gain a better knowledge of civil society’s role in conflict resolution and how civil society could be able to assist in future and diverse conflict resolution processes.


1.3 Objective Of Study

The following are primary objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the role civil society played in the anti-apartheid movement.
  2. To look into civil society’s involvement in the resistance movement and how it influenced it.
  3. To find out if civil society was a major player in this campaign,
  4. To investigate the role of civil society in the formation and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.
  5. To find out if anti-apartheid benefited or suffered as a result of the involvement of civil society organizations,

1.4 Research Question

  1. What role did civil society play in the anti-apartheid movement?
  2. What role did civil society play in the resistance movement and how did it influence it?
  3. Was civil society a major player in this campaign?
  4. What role did civil society play in the formation and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa?
  5. Did the anti-apartheid movement benefit or suffer as a result of the involvement of civil society organizations?

1.5 Significance Of Study

This study has the potential to contribute significantly to the academic community as well as to better knowledge of conflict resolution procedures. The study contributes to a better understanding of civil society’s participation in the anti-apartheid struggle as well as the development and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. This is significant because it reminds the reader of the apartheid regime’s crimes and injustices, which serves as a powerful reminder that human civilization should endeavor to prevent repeating past wars on a global scale. Furthermore, this research adds to our understanding of the impact that civil society can have in various conflict situations, and it opens up the topic for further research in various conflictual contexts. As a result, this study could contribute significantly to our knowledge of the role of civil society organizations in conflict resolution and the rebuilding of a peaceful society.


1.6 Scope Of Study

This study focuses on examining the role civil society played in the anti-apartheid movement. The study also look into civil society’s involvement in the resistance movement and how it influenced it. Also, the study tends to find out if civil society was a major player in this campaign, and investigates the role of civil society in the formation and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Furthermore, the study determines whether anti-apartheid organizations benefited or suffered as a result of their involvement. This study is delimited to the fall of apartheid in South Africa.


1.7 Limitation Of Study

During the study, the researchers faced financial constraints, insufficient materials, and a time limitation.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Conflict Resolution:

Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution.

Civil Society:

Civil society can be understood as the “third sector” of society, distinct from government and business, and including the family and the private sphere.

Apartheid:

This was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s.


An Examination Of The Role Of Civil Society In Conflict Resolution In South Africa (A Case Study Of The Fall Of Apartheid)


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An Examination Of The Role Of Civil Society In Conflict Resolution In South Africa (A Case Study Of The Fall Of Apartheid)

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