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Background of the German - South African Dialogue on Democracy

The conference will be the fourth of its kind. In 2012, 2014 and 2016 conferences with a comparative constitutional law approach took place in Stellenbosch, Berlin and Cape Town respectively. At these occasions, German and South African scholars debated constitutional issues on representative and participatory democracy as well as the constitutional basis of democracy from a comparative perspective. The discourse between the representatives of two different legal systems has proven very fruitful. For instance, the papers of the second conference were published by Nomos in 2016 as an open access publication.

The German - South African Dialogue on Democracy, organized by Henk Botha (Stellenbosch University), Wessel le Roux (University of the Western Cape), Nils Schaks (Universität Mannheim) and Dominik Steiger (Technische Universität Dresden), intends not only to enrich the debate about democracy and digitization in their respective countries but also to continue with the now firmly established forum where scholars from South Africa and Germany can meet and exchange their ideas on constitutional, especially democratic matters. The similarities and differences between the two countries have in the past worked as a catalyst for analyses of the nature of democracy; the challenges posed to democracy by phenomena such as globalization and migration, the relations­hip between representative, participatory and direct democracy; and the relations­hip between democracy and fundamental rights. It is hoped that this conference will stimulate further debate between the two systems and develop the interaction between German and South African scholars in new directions.

Please find here the updated version of the program. ​​​​​​​

The conference is kindly supported by: