Liberation and Democratization: The South African and Palestinian National Movements by Mona Younis

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Arising in the 1910s and emerging as legitimate governing bodies in the 1990s, the South African and the Palestinian national liberation movements have exhibited remarkable parallels over the course of their development. The fortunes of the African National Congress and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, however, have proven strikingly different. How the measurements, despite similar circumstances and experiences, have arrived at such dissimilar outcomes is described in Liberation and democratization.

Younis traces the evolution of the movements, from early domination by elites to the ascendancy of mass-based forces in their last phases of expansion. She shows how this latest shift, accompanied by a democratization of the process of liberation, made the movements more effective in the 1980s. Liberation and Democratization also identifies dissimilarities -- the balance of class forces and resources -- that led to the A.N.C.'s greater success relative to the P.L.O.'s achievements.

The first comprehensive comparison of two of the most significant liberation movements of this century, Younis's work brings to light problems and dynamics that will remain work well into the future.

Year: 2000


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