Intelligence practices in South Africa as a hybrid political regime - a meta-theoretical and theoretical analysis
Van den Berg, M.A.
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Intelligence is a necessary function of a state, albeit secret. All countries have an intelligence service of some sort. They reflect the history, culture, scars of the past and psychology of a nation. Moreover, these services are an epitome of the political regime of the country within whom and for which it exists. In addition, after the third wave of democratisation, several countries got stuck in the proverbial ‘grey zone', neither reaching the end goal, nor reversing back into their former regime type. These so-called hybrid political regimes and their respective intelligence practices are the main interest and focus of this research. For this reason, this thesis (which is not classified, to make the research findings available to both practitioners and scholars of intelligence studies), aims to contribute to the theory and understanding of intelligence studies as a sub-field within the political science in describing, explaining and analysing intelligence practices within different political regime types. The primary aim is to place intelligence studies within a conceptualised meta-scientific framework within the field of human science and the broader science. The secondary aim of this thesis is to contribute through meta-theorising to the existing theory an understanding of intelligence practices within different regime types after transition or regime change - as then to be able to develop new theory and a deepened understanding of such practices specifically within the notion of a hybrid political regime. The third and final aim of this study is to operationalise the theoretical and meta-theoretical framework and models within the history and development of political systems and intelligence practices in South Africa and to analyse its democratic transition as to be able to place its intelligence practices within the typology of its regime type. The conceptual framework of this research forms the basis of this study and contributes as a roadmap to the understanding of intelligence studies within political science as an interdisciplinary sub-academic field. More so, the goal of this thesis is to conceptualise, reconstruct, contextualise (interpret) and analyse the dynamics between intelligence practices within democratic, non-democratic (authoritarian and totalitarian) and hybrid political regimes as to contribute to a deeper understanding as well as development of existing typologies, concepts, models and theory. In conducting a meta-theoretical and theoretical analysis of intelligence in South Africa as a hybrid political regime, this study is also able to identify trends and tendencies over time which enables not only an understanding and explanation of existing systems and practices, but also assist in developing scenarios for a future South Africa. These scenarios can assist in improving the existing political system and intelligence practices as to create a better life for all.
- Humanities 
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