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Equality with Limitations - In Search of Botswana's Democratic Past

Turgman, Emily (2005)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
Botswana has been a stable democracy since independence. There is a wide-spread assumption that this is due to democratic elements in its traditional system, and the minimal colonial influence exerted by the British. This thesis examines the character of the traditional system and the effects of the colonial presence, with the aim to ascertain how democratic pre-independent Botswana actually was.

The traditional and colonial systems are evaluated by means of a democratic model based on Robert Dahl's work, emphasizing the conceptions of responsiveness, equality, and participation. In evaluating the traditional system, the focus is on the power structures and hierarchy of the merafe (nations), the sovereign dikgosi (chiefs), and the working... (More)
Botswana has been a stable democracy since independence. There is a wide-spread assumption that this is due to democratic elements in its traditional system, and the minimal colonial influence exerted by the British. This thesis examines the character of the traditional system and the effects of the colonial presence, with the aim to ascertain how democratic pre-independent Botswana actually was.

The traditional and colonial systems are evaluated by means of a democratic model based on Robert Dahl's work, emphasizing the conceptions of responsiveness, equality, and participation. In evaluating the traditional system, the focus is on the power structures and hierarchy of the merafe (nations), the sovereign dikgosi (chiefs), and the working of the kgotla (community meeting). As to the colonial system, the main stress is laid on the interaction between the colonial authorities and the dikgosi, and the alterations of the traditional system that this resulted in.

My analysis demonstrates the existence of a prevalent inequality in both systems. In the traditional system, this strongly circumscribed the opportunities for participation, and the dikgosi's need to show responsiveness. The colonial authorities were occasionally responsive, but overall averse to allowing African participation. They dominated and overruled the previously autonomous dikgosi. (Less)
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author
Turgman, Emily
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Botswana, Democracy, Tswana, Colonialism, Kgotla, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
language
English
id
1330017
date added to LUP
2005-06-20 00:00:00
date last changed
2005-06-20 00:00:00
@misc{1330017,
  abstract     = {Botswana has been a stable democracy since independence. There is a wide-spread assumption that this is due to democratic elements in its traditional system, and the minimal colonial influence exerted by the British. This thesis examines the character of the traditional system and the effects of the colonial presence, with the aim to ascertain how democratic pre-independent Botswana actually was.

The traditional and colonial systems are evaluated by means of a democratic model based on Robert Dahl's work, emphasizing the conceptions of responsiveness, equality, and participation. In evaluating the traditional system, the focus is on the power structures and hierarchy of the merafe (nations), the sovereign dikgosi (chiefs), and the working of the kgotla (community meeting). As to the colonial system, the main stress is laid on the interaction between the colonial authorities and the dikgosi, and the alterations of the traditional system that this resulted in.

My analysis demonstrates the existence of a prevalent inequality in both systems. In the traditional system, this strongly circumscribed the opportunities for participation, and the dikgosi's need to show responsiveness. The colonial authorities were occasionally responsive, but overall averse to allowing African participation. They dominated and overruled the previously autonomous dikgosi.},
  author       = {Turgman, Emily},
  keyword      = {Botswana,Democracy,Tswana,Colonialism,Kgotla,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Equality with Limitations - In Search of Botswana's Democratic Past},
  year         = {2005},
}