• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Providing a wide-ranging and critical introduction to contemporary South Africa, this book uses an interdisciplinary lens to introduce the student to the main debates, historical context, and issues that have characterized the study of South Africa over the last three decades. Key topics include: the role of colonialism, capitalism and modernity in the formation of the racial order; changes in the South African state; questions of class, race and ehtnicity; black resistance; and the transition to democracy. A number of underlying debates are critically evaluated. For exmple, the contribution of materialist and class-analytic approaches, the application of post-structuralism and theories of modernity, and th

South African States
South African States
Delimiting the State

In the 1970s radical scholars began to discuss and debate the South African ‘state’. The concept of state was meant to bring into focus something larger than the dynamics of government or administration, understood descriptively: it cast a searchlight on the mechanisms whereby social domination was ‘reproduced’ or, alternatively, challenged; and in particular those mechanisms associated with public power. Marxist-influenced radical scholars were particularly concerned to understand the role of the South African state in maintaining or bolstering capitalism. In searching for an account of the state they drew on a contemporaneous revival in so-called ‘state theory’ amongst European Marxists dissatisfied ...

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