Minority Protection in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Human Rights, Minority Rights, and Self-Determination

Minority Protection in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Human Rights, Minority Rights, and Self-Determination

Minority Protection in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Human Rights, Minority Rights, and Self-Determination

Minority Protection in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Human Rights, Minority Rights, and Self-Determination

Synopsis

Accommodation of population diversity is a vital issue for any multinational society. The legacy of Apartheid in South Africa complicates this effort considerably. Henrard introduces a theoretical framework regarding how to accommodate minority protection in the most appropriate way and analyzes the respective contributions of individual rights, minority rights, and the right to self-determination. Subsequent chapters examine the case study of post-apartheid South Africa and attempt to investigate its constitutional development. Henrard finds that provisions within the 1996 Constitution do acknowledge an interrelation between these three important factors; however, implementation of minority protection policy is often quite a different matter.

Excerpt

Whoever frst coined the phrase, “When the siècle hit the fin,” described the twentieth century perfectly! The past century was arguably a century of intellectual, physical, and emotional violence unparalleled in world history. As Haynes Johnson of the Washington Post has pointed out in his The Best of Times: The Clinton Years (2001), “since the first century, 149 million people have died in major wars; 111 million of those deaths occurred in the twentieth century. War deaths per population soared from 3.2 deaths per 1,000 in the sixteenth century to 44.4 per 1,000 in the twentieth.” Giving parameters to the twentieth century, however, is no easy task. Did it begin in 1900 or 1901? Was it, as in historian Eric Hobsbawm’s words, a “short twentieth century,” that did not begin until 1917 and end in 1991? Or was it more accurately the “long twentieth century,” as Giovanni Arrighi argued in The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times? Strong cases can be made for all of these constructs and it is each reader’s prerogative to come to his or her own conclusion.

Whatever the conclusion, however, there is a short list of people, events, and intellectual currents found in the period between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries that is, indeed, impressive in scope. There is little doubt that the hopes represented by the Paris Exhibition of 1900 represented the mood of the time—a time of optimism, even utopian expectations, in much of the so-called civilized world (which was the only world that counted in those days). Many saw the fruits of the Industrial Revolution, the application of science and technology to everyday life, as having the potential to greatly enhance life, at least in the West.

In addition to the theme of progress, the power of nationalism in conflicts—not only over territory, but also economic advantage and intellectual dominance—came to characterize the last century. It was truly a century of war, from

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