JOURNAL ARTICLE | 2016

The Decline of African Nationalism and the State of South Africa

Ivor Chipkin (2016) The Decline of African Nationalism and the State of South Africa, Journal of Southern African Studies, 42:2, 215-227

This article explores the electoral performance of the African National Congress (ANC) to argue that there is evidence of a two-fold movement. On the one hand the ANC is weakening as a national organization, and on the other the ANC is strengthening as a regional party based in KwaZulu-Natal. This article explores the significance of these developments for democracy in South Africa today and, more importantly, for the integrity of the South African nation. The article argues that the ANC has historically been the main mover of an inclusive (‘cosmopolitan’) vision of South Africa. As it weakens and metamorphoses, what will happen to its commitment to this brand of African nationalism? Furthermore, are the conditions of a South African nation sufficiently in place that the future of the country as a national community is secure, even as the ANC’s commitment to such a vision weakens?

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