Published October 2020

Understanding South Africa’s Democratic Trajectory

A comparative analysis of postcolonial societies

Understanding South Africa’s Democratic Trajectory: A comparative analysis of postcolonial societies is the product of a research project undertaken by the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) on behalf of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA). The research examines three cases studies – Mozambique, Algeria and India – in order to assess whether South Africa’s current democratic trajectory is exceptional or comparable to other post-colonial experiences.

The report seeks to identify features that characterise or have shaped the democratic trajectories of the selected cases, and to discuss the implications of these for
constitutional democracy in South Africa. The insights are aimed at provoking discourse on South Africa’s postcolonial path and transformation.