The Collapse of Authority of the Apartheid Regime

Topics: South Africa, Government, Racial segregation Pages: 2 (411 words) Published: April 12, 2014
The Collapse of Authority

Authoritative regimes are built on the foundations of power and control. This essay will discuss why authoritative regimes collapse based on their ideals and how the Apartheid regime managed to maintained power through the misuse of legislature. In an authoritative regime individuals exercise power over the state and able to so without being held constitutionally liable to the public (Gandhi & Przeworski, 2007: 1279). Thus, the leaders in an authoritarian regime have limitless authority to change policies in order to maintain power; however, non-acceptance by the governed could consequently result in a political regime losing its legitimacy, which could ultimately pave way for a revolution via domestic uprising. Foreign pressure and intervention could also play a role in the demise of an authoritative regime via costly sanctions and direct military intervention (Geddes, 2002: 1). South African politics involved racial segregation amongst citizens’ which lead to inequality and lack of opportunities. According to Henrard (1996), the apartheid government maintained power through the strategic forced removals of the majority non-white population. Any uprising as a result of inequality was dealt with excessive force. This was very successful, owing to the fact that fear was instilled amongst non-white citizens along with harsh punishments like imprisonment, if found guilty of opposing the law. Another key to the success of the regime was its aptitude to navigate amongst political forces, as well as its ability to build coalitions (Bueno de Mesquita, Morrow, Siverson, & Smith, 1999). The government suppressed political parties that posed as an immediate threat to the current ideals of the state, like the African National Congress (ANC).

In conclusion, authoritative regimes can collapse based on foreign influences/interventions and domestic uprising. The monopoly force of the apartheid system was one of the main contributing factors in...
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