South African Democracy: The Rise and Fall of Hope

Amy Strong Pasko, International Programs Coordinator, North Learning Community

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This unit addresses the rise of democracy in South Africa. Students will look at the circumstances leading to a push towards democracy then will investigate the role of domestic versus international pressures to create a democracy. Students will consider the role of important individuals like Nelson Mandela while also considering how South African democracy compares to other more established democracies. They will have the opportunity to compare the South African constitution to the US and Mexican constitutions to explore the concept and implementation of positive and negative rights. Finally, students will consider the strength of democracy in modern day South African and the conditions that contribute to its current state.