The Rainbow Nation: Identity, Intergroup Relations and Worldviews in South Africa

  • Cathy Bollaert
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


This chapter contextualises the book within South Africa’s identity landscape. Accepting that one cannot interpret the nature of the conflict (and its solution) without talking about race, class and inequality, the chapter argues that these interpretations alone are insufficient and invites the reader to look deeper into the beliefs and worldviews that informed the policies that led to the system of Apartheid and that continue to shape the society today. The chapter provides a brief overview of the ‘rainbow nation’ and gives definition to key policies that were implemented to facilitate the transition. It includes a snapshot of the different identity groups represented in the book, namely ‘black’, ‘white’, ‘Indian’, ‘coloured’, and migrants and concludes by reviewing the current nature of intergroup relations.


South Africa Identity Race Intergroup relations Transitional policies 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathy Bollaert
    • 1
  1. 1.Ulster UniversityBelfastUK

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