Expert conference

Egalitarian Liberalism

What are its possible futures in South Africa?

This two-day conference, organised by KAS, in co-operation with the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC), will focus on the concept of liberalism within South Africa.


The post-apartheid liberal state, is often misunderstood as an obstacle for inclusive development. Many South Africans regard liberalism as a means to strengthen a free-market ideology, at the expense of overcoming continuing socio-economic inequalities. This view is often linked to criticism of the South African Constitution, which during the 1994 democratic settlement, inherited a variety of core liberal ideas from around the world.

This event will highlight various humanistic values of liberalism such as: the freedom of speech, freedom of association, as well as the right to vote – all as key advantages of a democratic society. Participants such as legal practitioners, academics, politicians and NGO representatives, will discuss how unity between liberty rights and strong equality rights, as enshrined in the South African Constitution, can lead to social justice.

The conference defends the necessity to achieve socio-economic equality through a democratic and rights-based transformation of the South African society, while respecting the rule of law.

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Constitutional Court Auditorium, Johannesburg


"Egalitarian Liberalism": Liberalismus und seine zukünftigen Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten in Südafrika
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