• 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

The Dynamics of Transition
The dynamics of transition
Explaining a ‘Miracle’

During the first half of the 1990s South Africa witnessed what Nelson Mandela (cited in Lawrence 1994: 1) termed a ‘small miracle’ – the negotiated dismantling of a system of white racial domination that had lasted (depending on definition) anything between ninety and well over three hundred years. In the latter half of the 1990s a new, mainly black political leadership elected in April 1994 steered the country through its democratic infancy. South Africa has since experienced a second ‘free’, or at least open and inclusive, election in June 1999. This chapter explores the ...

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