The purposes of the project are:
- To explore the linkage between theoretical concepts of democracy and practical realities of political party leadership;
- From a historical perspective, to identify the political and economic factors that led to the decline in popular support of independence-era political formation; and
- To identify lessons learned for political parties and citizens in South Africa and other countries emerging from oppressive rule.
The main objective is to evaluate the challenges and contribution of new political parties to strengthening democracy in post-colonial societies. Primary research includes on-site interviews with top political party and government leaders and officials, civil society, academics, media, political analysts and business. This research project was funded in part by the Open Society Foundation of South Africa.