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Comparative Analysis of Economic and Political Cleavages in South Africa and Zimbabwe

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Comparative Analysis of Economic and Political Cleavages in South Africa and Zimbabwe


Introduction

Comparative politics is concerned with examining the characteristics or qualities of two different political entities to discover resemblances or differences. These entities can be general in nature, for example, the comparison of two countries, or more specific in nature, comparing two different systems of government. But, whether general or specific in nature, comparative politics tries to determine what caused the governments to form in the way that they did.

One way to do this is to look for the cleavages that affected each of the countries in question. A cleavage is a split that occurs within a culture and can cause conflict Cleavages can be in the form of :

Economic divisions between two or more groups based on financial considerations.
Ethnic divisions between two or more groups based on cultural beliefs.
Political divisions between two or more parties involving conflicting ideologies.
Racial divisions between two or more races.
Regional divisions between two or more groups based on geographical concerns.
Religious divisions between two or more religious groups with differing beliefs.

This paper intends to demonstrate that the comparative method may be used to better understand the socioeconomic and political cleavages within two specific countries, and that this study may lead to a clearer understanding of the issues within the chosen countries that are causing those divisions. The countries that will be examined in this brief study of cleavages are Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa.

It is hoped that by examining specific socioeconomic cleavages of the two countries in th...


... middle of paper ...


...izer. Mbeki should do something similar. The health of a country ultimately resides in the well-being of its citizens.

Works Cited

Dunn, Kate. "Learning from Zimbabwe's bitter lessons." Christian Science Monitor. 09/15/2000, Vol. 92 Issue 206, p 8.

Dunn, Kate. "Surfeit of Ideas, But still no land reform in Zimbabwe." Christian Science Monitor. 11/08/2000, Vol. 92 Issue 243, p 7.

The Economist, "South Africa's anxious eyes on Zimbabwe." 04115/2000, Vol. 355 Issue 8166, p 39.

The Economist, "Zimbabwe's tighter belts, and shorter tempers." 0/28/00, Vol. 355, p 41.

Meldrurn, Andrew. "African leaders criticize Mugabe for farm seizures." www.guardianunlimited.co.uk, 12/01/2000.

Owen, Danielle. "Land reform overdue in South Africa," Progress Report. www.progress.org

UNAIDS. www.unaids.org. Statistics of AIDS on a country by country basis.


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