The ending of southern Africa’s tripartite dream: the cases of South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique

Pauline Dibben, Gilton Klerck, Geoffrey Wood

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10 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the rise and decline of tripartite experiments in southern Africa, focusing on South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia, where tripartism emerged as part of the broader processes of democratisation and embedding democratic institutions. Why did these experiments largely fail to achieve the gains for labour that might have been anticipated? In each case, the lack of success can be ascribed to the ecosystemic dominance of neo-liberalism, returning growth fuelled by higher commodities prices, the changing structure of elites, dominant partyism, and structural weaknesses in both organised business and the labour movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-483
Number of pages23
JournalBusiness History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Southern Africa
  • tripartism

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