Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Daniel Young

Abstract

With the downfall of the authoritarian Apartheid government in 1994, South Africa has begun to establish itself as a more democratic nation. This paper examines levels of interpersonal trust in post-Apartheid South Africa by using data from “trust games” that were conducted using students from South African universities. Given the large amount of racial, linguistic and cultural diversity that is prevalent in South Africa and that the sample population has spent most of their lives living under the new multiparty democracy, we hypothesize that old racial and social factors that in the past had influenced interpersonal trust will have diminished leaving only partisanship as the predictor of interpersonal trust. Furthermore, we examine what impact the income inequality that was a result of the apartheid era will have on the future of politics in South Africa. The results of the study show that while race still matters, partisanship matters more when determining trust and that inequality among blacks remains high even after the fall of apartheid.

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