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Great Decisions to focus on state of democracy in South Africa

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The next-to-last Great Decisions program of Monmouth College’s spring semester will be led by a new member of the College’s Department of Political Science.

Assistant Professor Michael Nelson will lead a discussion titled “South Africa’s Fragile Democracy” at 7:30 p.m. March 14 in Room 276 of the College’s Center for Science and Business.

Nelson will introduce the audience to the African National Congress party, which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. But today the ANC suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation. Politically, it faces growing threats from opposition parties on the left and right, even as intraparty divisions surface.

Given America’s history of opportunistic engagement with Africa, there are few prospects for a closer relationship between the two countries. Nelson will lead a discussion on what role America should play, as well as how a weaker ANC could lead to political fragmentation in this relatively new democracy.

Great Decisions is a nationwide program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, a non-partisan, non-governmental association that works to increase Americans’ understanding of significant foreign policy issues.