Die transformasie van politieke instellings in oorgangstye - 'n rekonstruksie, interpretasie en evaluasie van S. P. Huntington se teoretiese bydrae
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When the present state of affairs in world politics is being reviewed, the single predominant characteristic that emerges is the fundamental and radical political changes that occured during recent years. The development from an old world order to a new one, with by implication, the transformation of political institutions in countries, is demonstrated, inter alia, both by the collapse of communist governments in the USSR and in prominent East Bloc countries, and by a worldwide process of democratization. South Africa, too, is at present caught up in a process of drastic political change which, particularly since 2 February 1990, has had farreaching implications for existing structures and political institutions. Indeed, South Africa, as is the case with numerous other countries worldwide, illustrates the fact that the transformation of political institutions during transitional periods is a prominent feature of present times. A theorist that made an enormous contribution towards understanding the transformation of political institutions during periods of transition is the controversial S.P. Huntington. In numerous contributions dating back to the late fifties and particularly to the 1960's, Huntington succeeded in explaining theoretically the phenomenon of the transformation of political institutions during periods of transition and in so doing he clarified a topical and complex phenomenon in world politics. Huntington's contribution is regarded as being of such importance that he is considered to be one of the foremost political scientists of the post World War II period. The following factors served as motivation for this study which has the following title: The Transformation of Political Institutions during periods of transition - A reconstruction, interpretation and evaluation of the theoretical contributions of S.P. Huntington: 1. The topicality of his contributions during a time of sweeping political changes. 2. The status (importance) that his theories attained which resulted in Huntington emerging as a pioneer in his field of study. 3. The gap that exists within contemporary literature as regards the reconstruction, interpretation and evaluation of all the Huntington's contributions with reference to the phenomenon of the transformation of political institutions during periods of transition. This study attempts to make a contribution' towards: * The development of a metatheoretical framework by means of which political change in general and Huntington's theories in particular may be reconstructed, interpreted and evaluated. ** Determining Huntington's position within the identified field of study in the light of the particular contributions made by him. *** The reconstruction, interpretation and evaluation of Huntington's contributions by applying the metatheoretical framework as developed for use in this study.