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The African National Congress (ANC) party has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. But the party today suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation. It faces growing threats from both left and right opposition parties, even as intraparty divisions surface. Given America’s history of opportunistic engagement with Africa, there are few prospects for a closer relationship between the two countries. Meanwhile, a weaker ANC could lead to political fragmentation in this relatively new democracy.
Evan Lieberman is the Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa at MIT. Previously, Lieberman was a member of the faculty at Princeton University for 12 years, and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Yale University, and was an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Cape Town. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and his BA from Princeton. Lieberman is the author of two scholarly books, Race and Regionalism in the Politics of Taxation (Cambridge 2003) and Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics Have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS (Princeton 2009).