What's wrong with South African civil society?
In a previous dissertation I argued that conceptions of citizenship and civil society have changed in three significant ways. Firstly, from being moral agents, citizens are now primarily rational agents. In other words, citizens now act in civil society when it best serves their own rational self-interest as opposed to recognising what I term the intrinsic moral worth of the public sphere. Secondly, the motivation for action by citizens used to be duty but is now instrumental: that is, citizens rarely act out of a duty to their country or their fellow citizen but instead act in order to achieve a certain end. Thirdly, while citizens used to act as a group, they now act individually, no longer pursuing a common good but each seeking their own individual good. In this dissertation, I move from the primarily theoretical nature of my honours dissertation to an empirical analysis of South Africa, establishing the validity of my theory while offering a more thorough analysis of South African citizenship and civil society. By looking at the empirical examples of the civil service in terms of Education, Bureaucracy, and the SANDF, this dissertation analyses both the state of South African civil society, and the underlying reasons for this state. Once it is clear how citizenship and civil society have changed and why this change is problematic, it then becomes important to establish why they have changed and who is responsible for the change. The attitudes of both citizens and the government are analysed as well as the influence they have on each other. I argue that the attitude of citizens is deeply influenced by governmental behaviour and thus if we want to alter the direction of citizenship and civil society, we need to change attitudes at the governmental level.