Sustaining peace through school and civil society
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South Africa has been a high-conflict society for nearly 350 years. The first three hundred years were characterized by colonial rule with all the attendant conflicts inherent in such polities where dominance over the subject was achieved by coercive means. A more virulent form of racial domination called apartheid characterized the last fifty years before the achievement of democracy in 1994. Thus a legacy of racial inequality is deeply embedded in the institutional structures and psyche of South African society.
The principal underlying assumption of the paper is that schools are an important part of a consortium of social agencies that can help bridge the divisions created by apartheid in a systematic and systematic way. The argument is that the critical elements in South African that are responsible for promoting stability and offer the potential for sustaining social cohesion and peace are : a progressive constitution; Chapter 9 institutions; derivative educational legislative and policy instruments; and active civil society and human agency informed by a democratic tradition that was forged during the anti-apartheid struggle. These ingredients constitute the mosaic that can further advance peace and stability in the post-conflict South African society.