State Building & Democracy in Southern Africa

Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa

Pierre du Toit



Western democratic institutions have not easily taken root in African soil. Too often, attempts at cultivating democratic norms have foundered, leaving anarchy or authoritarianism. What, then, are the chances that South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy will endure? With this question in mind, South African political scientist Pierre du Toit probes the conditions under which democracy can grow. He examines three southern African states that, despite similarities, have very different track records: Botswana, perhaps the most successful democracy in continental Africa; Zimbabwe, where a partial democracy is faltering; and South Africa, just beginning its bold experiment.


[Du Toit's] book represents a landmark achievement as the first rigorously argued comparative analysis of political institutions in Southern Africa. - Journal of Modern African Studies


Pierre du Toit is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch.