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Location and forms of power

Dissertation : Location and forms of power. Recherche parmi 298 000+ dissertations

Par   •  9 Mars 2017  •  Dissertation  •  805 Mots (4 Pages)  •  833 Vues

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In politics and social science, power is the ability to influence the behavior of people. In order to live together members of a community accept rules, regulations, and laws. This helps to create social cohesion but can also lead to conflicts and tensions. Power can always lead to conflict between those who have it and those who want it. Even when authority seems absolute, there are always counter-powers which question it, aim at limiting its excesses and resist it because sometimes this authority represses the liberty of people.

In this presentation, I’m going to talk about the evolution of power in South Africa during and after the Apartheid which took place from 1948 to 1989. During the Apartheid there were many casualties and tension on both sides so our issue is: how can people from totally different origins and culture live together, especially after such a conflict?

To answer this question, I’m going to talk first about the Apartheid how did it work, and then the central role of the African National congress and Nelson Mandela in the reconstruction of South Africa.

So first, what is the Apartheid?

In a documentary called Segregation in South Africa filmed in 1957, a journalist presents us the racial tension going on in South Africa. He mentioned that a lot of people and especially women formed a resistance against the segregation system called the Apartheid. Some activists criticise their government and qualify it of nationalist and conservative. Then, the journalist decides to go and collect the opinion of the two different sides of the Apartheid.

He begins with an interview of an Afrikaner protestant clergyman who supports the Apartheid which is for him a way of life.  He justifies it by saying that the white race and its legacy need to be preserved and that the black population is at a lesser state of development. However, we can understand instinctively that he is restraining himself to say inferior so he seems to be racist bias. But we have to keep in mind that it wasn’t the opinion of all the white clergymen. A bishop disagrees with the Apartheid and that it isn’t compatible with Christianity and its values.

Moreover, when the journalist asks the Afrikaner if Apartheid isn’t an immoral system, he says that it is not and that the Bantu people are happy and satisfied with the Apartheid because it can lead them to their salvation. Furthermore, he says that the government is helping them by building housing scheme. But when the journalist talks about this fact with a representative of the Africans, the latter says that, to them, Apartheid means nothing else than oppression and exploitation.

After all these restraining policies, a new organisation is born called the African National Congress and their goal is to abolish this segregation.

This congress protested pacifically against Apartheid with marches, strikes or act of civil disobedience. But the government was not fond of them so they arrest and sentenced them to life imprisonment in Robber Island. However that didn’t stop them from continuing to protest with hunger strikes or slow-down while people outside continued to protest.

But the government wouldn’t still let go, so it increases the violence against the demonstrators and many were killed in confrontation with the police. As nothing was working the government decided to declare the state of emergency that only increased the violence which led the international community to exert economical and moral pressure against South Africa. They implemented economic sanctions and boycotts and expressed their moral outrage for the Apartheid. Finally, these sanctions led the government to yield because it had led to an economic downturn.


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