chapter  5
35 Pages

Effects and functions of one-party-dominance in India and

BySouth Africa

This chapter deals with the fi nal and, given the tradition of party research on changing societies, probably most important of the core questions regarding the party system research dimensions examined in this study. The question, ‘has one-party-dominance a positive or negative effect on the processes of democratic consolidation, national integration and socio-economic development?’, is diffi cult to answer, especially with regard to the South African context. As expected, the combined effect of a collection of factors, including institutional set-up, electorate socio-structural and cultural traits, the nature of the dominant party and the opposition, affects, rather profoundly, the strategic interaction of political actors as well as the shape of a party system and the nature of intra-party competition. Party system characteristics, however – though primarily the product of intentional action in response to the political opportunity structure – have a feedback effect on their original creators too.