World democracy under threat


Professor Ursula van Beek, founder of the Transformational Research Unit at the Political Science Department of Stellenbosch University coauthored a book titledDemocracy under threat: A crisis of legitimacy. The book highlights the changing nature of democracy in the current political society.

It pays attention to key issues such as the role of globalisation on the noticeable interdependency world democracies have on the socioeconomic status if one another. Moreover, the vitalinfluence of populist groupson democratic outcomes, andwhether their influence is onethat is juxtaposed with the key embodiments of democracy, was also discussed in the book. When asked whether she thought South Africa’s democracy is under threat, Van Beek replied by stating that “prior to recent political events that lead to Cyril Ramaphosa being elected as President of the Republic of South Africa, South Africa’s democracy was indeed under threat.

Jacob Zuma’s presidential termhad been ineffective in carryingout the true embodiments of what South African citizens thought to be democracy”. Van Beek said thatdemocracy defined in the context ofSouth African citizens was an entity that “advocated for a betterment in standards of living. By failingto meet this definition, Zuma’sterm allowed for the underminingof confidence in democracy bycitizens.” Lynn Rippenaar-Moses, aMarketing Officer at SU, conductedan interview with van Beek. Part of the discussion was the extentto which social media affecteddemocratic procedures.

At SU the effect of social medianetworks on students that engage on these social media platforms is noticeable as it has formed part of the global and local culture within which students reside. The lobbying of votes for various campus committee elections usually spill over to social media networks, and as a result they influence the voting procedures.

PHOTO: Springer International Publishing

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