South African Constitution and the Making of a ‘New’ Civil Society

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Drawing from the analysis of several civil society groups in post-apartheid South Africa, primarily NGOs and religious groups, this article offers an understanding of civil society organisations and their engagement with the Constitution in the new democratic context. Investigating the way the Constitution is appropriated, debated and invoked by these organisations, the article shows how deeply democratic institutions became accepted and recognised by society. This demonstrates that the democratic nation-building process, which so far has no universally met original promises and aspirations of wealth redistribution and service delivery, is successful in instilling a sense of trust and belonging in the democratic institutions and in creating shared common national values
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • South Africa
  • civil society
  • rights
  • democracy

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