Has South Africa dealt effectively with the past, and is the country ready to face the future? What are the challenges facing both government and civil society in the years ahead? These and other questions are explored in this collection of essays by international and local commentators on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
A range of perspectives on whether the TRC met its objectives of truth and reconciliation is presented. The areas of particular contention-the payment of reparation, the granting of amnesty, and memorialization-are also examined.
Finally, the major challenges facing South Africa are identified, and ways of meeting these challenges and developing the assets of the nation are explored.
Contributors: Haribert Adam, Kanya Adam, Alex Boraine, Colin Bundy, Mary Burton, John de Gruchy, Richard Goldstone, Willem Heath, Wilmot James, Jeffrey Lever, Mahmood Mamdani, Gary Minkley, Njabulo Ndebele, Dumisa Ntsebeza, Kaizer Nyatsumba, Grace Naledi Pandor, Mamphela Ramphele, Ciraj Rassool, Albie Sachs, Patricia Valdez, Linda van de Vijver, Jan van Eck, Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert, Charles Villa-Vicencio, Francis Wilson, and Leslie Witz
At the end of apartheid, under pressure from local and transnational capital and the hegemony of Western-style parliamentary democracy, South Africans felt called upon to normalize their conceptions of economics, politics, and culture in line with these Western models. In Against Normalization, however, Anthony O’Brien examines recent South African literature and theoretical debate which take a different line, resisting this neocolonial outcome, and investigating the role of culture in the formation of a more radically democratic society. O’Brien brings together an unusual array of contemporary South African writing: cultural theory and debate, worker poetry, black and white feminist writing, Black Consciousness drama, the letters of exiled writers, and postapartheid fiction and film. Paying subtle attention to well-known figures like Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, and Njabulo Ndebele, but also foregrounding less-studied writers like Ingrid de Kok, Nise Malange, Maishe Maponya, and the Zimbabwean Dambudzo Marechera, he reveals in their work the construction of a political aesthetic more radically democratic than the current normalization of nationalism, ballot-box democracy, and liberal humanism in culture could imagine. Juxtaposing his readings of these writers with the theoretical traditions of postcolonial thinkers about race, gender, and nation like Paul Gilroy, bell hooks, and Gayatri Spivak, and with others such as Samuel Beckett and Vaclav Havel, O’Brien adopts a uniquely comparatist and internationalist approach to understanding South African writing and its relationship to the cultural settlement after apartheid. With its appeal to specialists in South African fiction, poetry, history, and politics, to other Africanists, and to those in the fields of colonial, postcolonial, race, and gender studies, Against Normalization will make a significant intervention in the debates about cultural production in the postcolonial areas of global capitalism.
Archives and Justice
Verne Harris Society of American Archivists, 2007 Library of Congress CD2451.H36 2007 | Dewey Decimal 027.0968
ARCHIVES AND JUSTICE: A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE is collection of Verne Harris's best writing during the first decade of South Africa's post-apartheid democracy. Harris is the project director of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg. While South Africa is his immediate context, Harris always engages wider geographical and conceptual worlds.
The volume is organized into five sections. "Discourses" illuminates Harris's engagement with writings and discussions related to archives. "Narratives," the second section, "explores the stories that archivists tell in certain domains of professional work-appraisal, electronic recordmaking, and arrangement and description." The third and fourth sections, "Politics and Ethics" and "Pasts and Secrets," recount and reflect on events and issues with which Harris has wrestled as a South African archivist. The op-eds contained in the final section, "Actualities," provide evidence of Harris's "deliberate endeavors to bring awareness of archive to popular debates in South Africa."
Drawing on the energies of Derridean deconstruction, Harris suggests an ethics, and a politics, expressed in the maxim "memory for justice." And he portrays the work of archives as a work of critical importance to the building of democracy.
Berlusconi's Italy provides a fresh, thoroughly-informed account of how Italy's richest man came to be its political leader. Without dismissing the importance of personalities and political parties, it emphasizes the significance of changes in voting behaviors that led to the rise-and eventual fall-of Silvio Berlusconi, the millionaire media baron who became Prime Minister. Armed with new data and new analytic tools, Michael Shin and John Agnew use recently developed methods of spatial analysis, to offer a compelling new argument about contextual re-creation and mutation. They reveal that regional politics and shifting geographical voting patterns were far more important to Berlusconi's successes than the widely-credited role of the mass media, and conclude that Berlusconi's success (and later defeat) can be best understood in geographic terms.
In Beyond the Miracle, a distinguished South African journalist provides a wide-ranging and unflinching account of the first nine years of democratic government in South Africa. Covering both the new regime's proud achievements and its disappointing failures, Allister Sparks looks to South Africa's future, asking whether it can overcome its history and current global trends to create a truly nonracial, multicultural, and multiparty democracy.
Sparks sees South Africa as facing many of the same challenges as the rest of the world, especially a widening gap between rich and poor, exacerbated by the forces of globalization. While the transition government has done much to establish democracy and racial equality in a short time, as well as bring basic services such as clean water to millions who did not have them before, many blacks feel it has not done enough to redress the continuing imbalance of wealth in the country. Many whites, meanwhile, feel disempowered and confused about what role they have to play as a racial minority in a country they used to rule and regard as theirs by divine right. Sparks also covers other burning issues, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, high crime rates, the diamond wars, the Congo conflict, and the Zimbabwean land crisis.
Writing vividly and often quite movingly, Sparks draws on his decades of journalistic experience and his recent insider access to key figures in the liberation government to take stock of where South Africa has been, where it's going, and why the rest of the world should not turn away from this country where the First and Third Worlds meet. As Sparks persuasively argues, the success of Mandela's vision of a peaceful "rainbow nation" is crucial not just for the salvation of Africa, but also for the world.
“Sparks, a grandfather of South African journalism, has fired one of the first volleys in the 10-year assessment. . . . It is an even-handed work, almost encyclopedic in its breadth. Sparks traverses all the important political terrain.”—Mail & Guardian
“It is as good a guide to the new South Africa as any.”—Economist
Nation-building imperatives compel citizens to focus on what makes them similar and what binds them together, forgetting what makes them different. Democratic institution building, on the other hand, requires fostering opposition through conducting multiparty elections and encouraging debate. Leaders of democratic factions, like parties or interest groups, can consolidate their power by emphasizing difference. But when held in tension, these two impulses—toward remembering difference and forgetting it, between focusing on unity and encouraging division—are mutually constitutive of sustainable democracy.
?Based on ethnographic and interview-based fieldwork conducted in 2012–13, The Black and White Rainbow: Reconciliation, Opposition, and Nation-Building in Democratic South Africa explores various themes of nation- and democracy-building, including the emotional and banal content of symbols of the post-apartheid state, the ways that gender and race condition nascent nationalism, the public performance of nationalism and other group-based identities, integration and sharing of space, language diversity, and the role of democratic functioning including party politics and modes of opposition. Each of these thematic chapters aims to explicate a feature of the multifaceted nature of identity-building, and link the South African case to broader literatures on both nationalism and democracy.
Confronting Leviathan describes Mozambique’s attempt to construct a socialist society in one African country on the back of an anti-colonial struggle for national independence. In explaining the failure of this effort the authors suggest reasons why the socialist vision of the ruling party, Frelimo, lacked resonance with Mozambican society. They also document in detail South Africa’s attempts to destabilize the country, even to the extent of sponsoring the Renamo insurgents. The dynamics of that insurgency and its roots in Mozambican society are examined as well as the process of negotiation that brought it to a close. Finally the authors analyze the more recent attempt to construct a liberal capitalist society in Mozambique. From their findings it appears that this may prove no easier than the construction of socialism.
In the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women faced the impossible—resurrecting their lives amidst unthinkable devastation. Haunted by memories of lost loved ones and of their own experiences of violence, women rebuilt their lives from “less than nothing.” Neither passive victims nor innate peacemakers, they traversed dangerous emotional and political terrain to emerge as leaders in Rwanda today. This clear and engaging ethnography of survival tackles three interrelated phenomena—memory, silence, and justice—and probes the contradictory roles women played in postgenocide reconciliation.
Based on more than a decade of intensive fieldwork, Genocide Lives in Us provides a unique grassroots perspective on a postconflict society. Anthropologist Jennie E. Burnet relates with sensitivity the heart-wrenching survival stories of ordinary Rwandan women and uncovers political and historical themes in their personal narratives. She shows that women’s leading role in Rwanda’s renaissance resulted from several factors: the dire postgenocide situation that forced women into new roles; advocacy by the Rwandan women’s movement; and the inclusion of women in the postgenocide government.
Honorable Mention, Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association
Democracy differs dramatically in First and Third World countries. Academic debate in the West focuses on democractic institutional arrangements and concepts such as elections, freedom of association, and freedom of speech, and little attention is paid to the content of emancipatory policy. In the Third World and especially in South Africa, emancipation and socio-economic redistribution are more important aspects in the popular perception of what democracy means than considerations of how political institutions function. These variations put regimes such as the ANC-led government on a collision course with the West.
Arguing that a consolidation of democratic institutions depends on a redistribution of resources, Thomas Koelble analyzes two crucial policy arenas-housing and education-to clarify the enormous problems facing the current South African government. For successful consolidation of institutional democracy in South Africa, Western political and financial institutions must provide support for that redistribution. Without their support, the ANC constituency's expectations that democracy will improve the quality of life will go unrealized, and the government may fail.
Koelble also posits that while the new South African constitution encompasses aspects of a consensus oriented system in terms of its federal structures and various rights to minorities, it is a system dominated by one large political party that is not constitutionally required to share power. He suggests that the ANC would have better served the cause of democracy had it included rather than excluded their opposition from political power. This majoritarian rule may deteriorate into another version of "race politics". Such race politics will have deleterious effects on both South Africa's polity and economy.
The democratic election of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa in 1994 marked the demise of apartheid and the beginning of a new struggle to define the nation’s past. History after Apartheid analyzes how, in the midst of the momentous shift to an inclusive democracy, South Africa’s visual and material culture represented the past while at the same time contributing to the process of social transformation. Considering attempts to invent and recover historical icons and narratives, art historian Annie E. Coombes examines how strategies for embodying different models of historical knowledge and experience are negotiated in public culture—in monuments, museums, and contemporary fine art.
History after Apartheid explores the dilemmas posed by a wide range of visual and material culture including key South African heritage sites. How prominent should Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress be in the museum at the infamous political prison on Robben Island? How should the postapartheid government deal with the Voortrekker Monument mythologizing the Boer Trek of 1838? Coombes highlights the contradictory investment in these sites among competing constituencies and the tensions involved in the rush to produce new histories for the “new” South Africa.
She reveals how artists and museum officials struggled to adequately represent painful and difficult histories ignored or disavowed under apartheid, including slavery, homelessness, and the attempted destruction of KhoiSan hunter-gatherers. Describing how contemporary South African artists address historical memory and the ambiguities uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Coombes illuminates a body of work dedicated to the struggle to simultaneously remember the past and move forward into the future.
In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country's visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa.
Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.
Professor Glen Elder identifies hostels as sites of public and domestic violence, literal destruction and rebuilding, and as an important node in the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Hostels have also become home to increasing numbers of “invisible” female residents. Finding that one way to understand hostel space is through women's experiences, Professor Elder turned to thirty black migrant women living in an East Rand hostel to map the everyday geographies of South Africa's time of change.
By following the lives of these women, Elder identifies spatialized forms of marginalization, impoverishment, infection, and disempowerment. But, as he points out, the women's survival strategies may provide signposts to the way out of apartheid's malevolent geography.
Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy argues that the gendered geography of the migrant labor system developed in South Africa was premised upon sexual assumptions about men, women, and their bodies, and that feminist and queer analyses of space can inform public policy decisions.
The influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States throughout the years has impacted our culture, labor force, and economy. Often these individuals are blamed for the perceived ills they bring to this country. Yet few people ever consider the profound influence that the United States has on Mexico.
In this first book to view modern Mexico in the era of NAFTA and globalization, In the Shadow of the Giant offers insight into the land on our southern border.
What we find is a nation that looks more like the United States than even Mexicans themselves could have imagined a decade ago: Rates of obesity are second only to the United States among the world's industrialized countries. Recreational drug use is soaring among young Mexicans, Citigroup owns the largest bank in Mexico Wal-Mart is the country's biggest private employer revealing a vastly different physical and cultural landscape from his days as a young journalist living in Mexico in the mid-1980s. Joseph Contreras tracks the relentless and ongoing Americanization of his ancestral home. Although these changes may seem a natural part of globalization, the country had long prided itself on the social, political, economic, and even spiritual differences that distinguished it from the United States. In addition to embracing our virtues and vices, Contreras argues that our southern neighbor has become a de facto economic colony of the United States.
At a time when immigration looms as a leading hot-button issue in American politics, the time is ripe for examining our influences, for better or worse, on our neighbor to the south.
In mid-1990s South Africa, apartheid ended, Nelson Mandela was elected president, and the country’s urban black youth developed kwaito—a form of electronic music (redolent of North American house) that came to represent the post-struggle generation. In this book, Gavin Steingo examines kwaito as it has developed alongside the democratization of South Africa over the past two decades. Tracking the fall of South African hope into the disenchantment that often characterizes the outlook of its youth today—who face high unemployment, extreme inequality, and widespread crime—Steingo looks to kwaito as a powerful tool that paradoxically engages South Africa’s crucial social and political problems by, in fact, seeming to ignore them.
Politicians and cultural critics have long criticized kwaito for failing to provide any meaningful contribution to a society that desperately needs direction. As Steingo shows, however, these criticisms are built on problematic assumptions about the political function of music. Interacting with kwaito artists and fans, he shows that youth aren’t escaping their social condition through kwaito but rather using it to expand their sensory realities and generate new possibilities. Resisting the truism that “music is always political,” Steingo elucidates a music that thrives on its radically ambiguous relationship with politics, power, and the state.
From the early 1970s through the mid-1990s, Northern Ireland was the site of bitter conflict between those struggling for reunification with the rest of Ireland and those wanting the region to remain a part of the United Kingdom. After years of strenuous negotiations, nationalists and unionists came together in 1998 to sign the Good Friday Agreement. Northern Ireland's peace process has been deemed largely successful. Yet remarkably little has been done to assess in a comprehensive fashion what can be learned from it.
Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process incorporates recent research that emphasizes the need for civil society and a grassroots approach to peacebuilding while taking into account a variety of perspectives, including neoconservatism and revolutionary analysis. The contributions, which include the reflections of those involved in the negotiation and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, also provide policy prescriptions for modern conflicts.
This collection of essays in Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process fills a void by articulating the lessons learned and how—or whether—the peace processes can be applied to other regional conflicts.
Post-apartheid South Africa has been characterized by race tensions, social inequalities, and unemployment that are contributing to widespread crises. In addressing the transition to democracy, Limits to Liberation examines issues of culture and identity, drawing attention to the creative agency of citizens of the “new” South Africa. The writers question the classical western model of citizenship and procedural democracy in the face of the inability of most African states to provide basic needs. Their bold, interdisciplinary inquiry contributes to South African and international scholarship on urban planning, governance, and citizenship.ABOUT THE AUTHOR---Steven L. Robins is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
While much has been written on post-apartheid social movements in South Africa, most discussion centers on ideal forms of movements, disregarding the reality and agency of the activists themselves. In Living Politics, Kerry Ryan Chance radically flips the conversation by focusing on the actual language and humanity of post-apartheid activists rather than the external, idealistic commentary of old.
Tracking everyday practices and interactions between poor residents and state agents in South Africa’s shack settlements, Chance investigates the rise of nationwide protests since the late 1990s. Based on ethnography in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, the book analyzes the criminalization of popular forms of politics that were foundational to South Africa’s celebrated democratic transition. Chance argues that we can best grasp the increasingly murky line between “the criminal” and “the political” with a “politics of living” that casts slum and state in opposition to one another. Living Politics shows us how legitimate domains of politics are redefined, how state sovereignty is forcibly enacted, and how the production of new citizen identities crystallize at the intersections of race, gender, and class.
In recent years, as peace between Israelis and Palestinians has remained cruelly elusive, scholars and activists have increasingly turned to South African history and politics to make sense of the situation. In the early 1990s, both South Africa and Israel began negotiating with their colonized populations. South Africans saw results: the state was democratized and black South Africans gained formal legal equality. Palestinians, on the other hand, won neither freedom nor equality, and today Israel remains a settler-colonial state. Despite these different outcomes, the transitions of the last twenty years have produced surprisingly similar socioeconomic changes in both regions: growing inequality, racialized poverty, and advanced strategies for securing the powerful and policing the racialized poor. Neoliberal Apartheid explores this paradox through an analysis of (de)colonization and neoliberal racial capitalism.
After a decade of research in the Johannesburg and Jerusalem regions, Andy Clarno presents here a detailed ethnographic study of the precariousness of the poor in Alexandra township, the dynamics of colonization and enclosure in Bethlehem, the growth of fortress suburbs and private security in Johannesburg, and the regime of security coordination between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The first comparative study of the changes in these two areas since the early 1990s, the book addresses the limitations of liberation in South Africa, highlights the impact of neoliberal restructuring in Palestine, and argues that a new form of neoliberal apartheid has emerged in both contexts.
New South African Keywords sets out to do two things. The first is to provide a guide to the key words and key concepts that have come to shape public and political thought and debate in South Africa since 1994. The second purpose is to provide a compendium of cutting-edge thinking on the new society. In this respect some of the most exciting thinkers and commentators on South Africa have tried to capture the complexity of current debates. The result is a concise and insightful guide to postapartheid South Africa, which should be useful to students, citizens, tourists, business managers, decision makers—in fact, to anyone wanting to make sense of South African society today.
As long as far-right parties—known chiefly for their vehement opposition to immigration—have competed in contemporary Western Europe, many have worried about these parties’ acceptability to democratic voters and mainstream parties. Yet, rather than treating the far right as pariahs, major mainstream-right parties have included the far right in 15 governing coalitions from 1994 to 2017. Parties do not care equally about all issues at any given time, and Kimberly Twist demonstrates that far-right parties will agree to support the mainstream right’s goals more readily than many other parties, making them appealing partners.
Partnering with Extremists builds on existing work on coalition formation and party goals to propose a theory of coalition formation that works across countries and over time. The evidence comes from 19 case studies of coalition formation in Austria and the Netherlands, countries where far-right parties have been excluded when they could have been included and included when the mainstream right had other options. The argument is then extended to countries where coalitions are less common, France and the United Kingdom, and to cases of mainstream-right adoption of far-right themes. Twist incorporates both office and policy considerations in her argument and reimagines “policy” to be a two-dimensional factor; it matters not just where parties are located on an issue but how firmly they hold those positions.
The end of apartheid in South Africa broke down political barriers, extending to all races the formal rights of citizenship, including the right to participate in free elections and parliamentary democracy. But South Africa remains one of the most economically polarized nations in the world. In The Politics of Necessity Elke Zuern forcefully argues that working toward greater socio-economic equality—access to food, housing, land, jobs—is crucial to achieving a successful and sustainable democracy.
Drawing on interviews with local residents and activists in South Africa’s impoverished townships during more than a decade of dramatic political change, Zuern tracks the development of community organizing and reveals the shifting challenges faced by poor citizens. Under apartheid, township residents began organizing to press the government to address the basic material necessities of the poor and expanded their demands to include full civil and political rights. While the movement succeeded in gaining formal political rights, democratization led to a new government that instituted neo-liberal economic reforms and sought to minimize protest. In discouraging dissent and failing to reduce economic inequality, South Africa’s new democracy has continued to disempower the poor.
By comparing movements in South Africa to those in other African and Latin American states, this book identifies profound challenges to democratization. Zuern asserts the fundamental indivisibility of all human rights, showing how protest movements that call attention to socio-economic demands, though often labeled a threat to democracy, offer significant opportunities for modern democracies to evolve into systems of rule that empower all citizens.
At his 1994 inauguration, South African president Nelson Mandela announced the “Rainbow Nation, at peace with itself and the world.” This national rainbow notably extended beyond the bounds of racial coexistence and reconciliation to include “sexual orientation” as a protected category in the Bill of Rights. Yet despite the promise of equality and dignity, the new government’s alliance with neoliberal interests and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic left South Africa an increasingly unequal society.
Prismatic Performances focuses on the queer embodiments that both reveal and animate the gaps between South Africa’s self-image and its lived realities. It argues that performance has become a key location where contradictions inherent to South Africa’s post-apartheid identity are negotiated. The book spans 30 years of cultural production and numerous social locations and includes: a team of black lesbian soccer players who reveal and redefine the gendered and sexed limitations of racialized “Africanness;” white gay performers who use drag and gender subversion to work through questions of racial and societal transformation; black artists across the arts who have developed aesthetics that place on display their audiences’ complicity in the problem of sexual violence; and a primarily heterosexual panAfrican online soap opera fandom community who, by combining new virtual spaces with old melodramatic tropes allow for extended deliberation and new paradigms through which African same-sex relationships are acceptable.
Prismatic Performances contends that when explicitly queer bodies emerge onto public stages, audiences are made intimately aware of their own bodies’ identifications and desires. As the sheen of the New South Africa began to fade, these performances revealed the inadequacy and, indeed, the violence, of the Rainbow Nation as an aspirational metaphor. Simultaneously they created space for imagining new radical configurations of belonging.
Since 1983, Mexico has undergone a rapid and thorough economic restructuring program, with privatization at the core. The government has divested itself of hundreds of public companies, increasing the role of private capital, both domestic and foreign. Supporters have argued that divestiture would have positive implications for Mexican democracy, but Judith A. Teichman concludes that political and economic power in Mexico is more concentrated and exclusionary than ever. She uses extensive field research, including interviews with top political and business leaders to describe and analyze the process by which the Mexican state has reformed its mammoth public enterprise sector.
A meditation on the lessons to be learned from South Africa's transformation in the wake of apartheid.
Justice, truth, and identity; race, society, and law--all come into dramatic play as South Africa makes the tumultuous transition to a post-apartheid democracy. Seeking the timeless through the timely and trying to find the deeper meaning in the sweep of events, Daniel Herwitz brings the vast resources of the philosophical essay to bear on the new realities of post-apartheid South Africa--from racial identity to truth commissions, from architecture to film and television.
A public intellectual's reflections on public life, Herwitz's essays question how the new South Africa has constructed its concepts of reconciliation and return and how its historical emergence has meant a rethinking, reimagining, reexperiencing, relabeling, and repoliticizing of race. Herwitz's purpose is to give a philosophical reading of society--a society already relying on implicitly philosophical concepts in its social and political agendas. Working through these concepts, testing their relevance for reading society, his book itself becomes a part of the politics of definition and description in the new South Africa.
Daniel Herwitz is director of the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, and holds professorships in art and philosophy at the School for Art and Design. He taught at the University of Natal in South Africa from 1996 to 2002.
In the mid-1990s, civil war and genocide ravaged Rwanda. Since then, the country’s new leadership has undertaken a highly ambitious effort to refashion Rwanda’s politics, economy, and society, and the country’s accomplishments have garnered widespread praise. Remaking Rwanda is the first book to examine Rwanda’s remarkable post-genocide recovery in a comprehensive and critical fashion. By paying close attention to memory politics, human rights, justice, foreign relations, land use, education, and other key social institutions and practices, this volume raises serious concerns about the depth and durability of the country’s reconstruction.
Edited by Scott Straus and Lars Waldorf, Remaking Rwanda brings together experienced scholars and human rights professionals to offer a nuanced, historically informed picture of post-genocide Rwanda—one that reveals powerful continuities with the nation’s past and raises profound questions about its future.
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
As a result of its political and economic turmoil for much of the postwar period, Italy was considered the "bad seed" in the European community. Harsh ideological divisions, chronic executive instability, inefficient bureaucracy, uneven socio-economic development, organized crime, and unbalanced public finances all contributed to this negative perception of the nation. Yet a massive economic and social overhaul was launched in the 1990s as part of Italy's efforts to meet the famous Maastricht requirements in order to join the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
This book examines the processes Italy underwent to become part of the integrated European community and skillfully analyzes the consequences of the "Maastricht process" by exploring the effect it had on governmental and social actions and modes of orientation. Rescued by Europe? offers sharp insights into the importance of welfare state reform to current Berlusconi government, and how the weakening of the European Union's constraints has renewed the resistance to further changes. Ferrera and Gualmini ultimately argue that the constraints and opportunities linked to European integration have been the driving forces behind Italy's positive expansions, yet even with these reforms, there is still a long road ahead for European integration and Italy's political future.
Rwandan Women Rising
Swanee Hunt Duke University Press, 2017 Library of Congress HQ1236.5.R95H86 2017
In the spring of 1994, the tiny African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by a genocide that left nearly a million dead. Neighbors attacked neighbors. Family members turned against their own. After the violence subsided, Rwanda's women—drawn by the necessity of protecting their families—carved out unlikely new roles for themselves as visionary pioneers creating stability and reconciliation in genocide's wake. Today, 64 percent of the seats in Rwanda's elected house of Parliament are held by women, a number unrivaled by any other nation.
While news of the Rwandan genocide reached all corners of the globe, the nation's recovery and the key role of women are less well known. In Rwandan Women Rising, Swanee Hunt shares the stories of some seventy women—heralded activists and unsung heroes alike—who overcame unfathomable brutality, unrecoverable loss, and unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society. Hunt, who has worked with women leaders in sixty countries for over two decades, points out that Rwandan women did not seek the limelight or set out to build a movement; rather, they organized around common problems such as health care, housing, and poverty to serve the greater good. Their victories were usually in groups and wide ranging, addressing issues such as rape, equality in marriage, female entrepreneurship, reproductive rights, education for girls, and mental health.
These women's accomplishments provide important lessons for policy makers and activists who are working toward equality elsewhere in Africa and other postconflict societies. Their stories, told in their own words via interviews woven throughout the book, demonstrate that the best way to reduce suffering and to prevent and end conflicts is to elevate the status of women throughout the world.
What have been the most significant developments—political, social, economic—in South Africa since 1994? How much has changed since the demise of apartheid, and how much remains stubbornly the same? Should one celebrate a robust democracy now two decades old, or lament the corrosive effects of factionalism, greed, and corruption on political life? Colin Bundy tries to answer such questions, while avoiding simplistic or one-sided assessments of life under Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma. He recognizes real advances under ANC rule but also identifies the limits and contradictions of such progress. Bundy demonstrates, too, how the country’s past permeates the present, complicating and constraining the politics of transition, so that genuine transformation has been short-changed.
South Africa’s Suspended Revolution tells the story of South Africa’s democratic transition and the prospects for the country to develop a truly inclusive political system. Beginning with an account of the transition in the leadership of the African National Congress from Thabo Mbeki to Jacob Zuma, the book then broadens its lens to examine the relationship of South Africa’s political elite to its citizens. It also examines the evolution of economic and social policies through the democratic transition, as well as the development of a postapartheid business community and a foreign policy designed to re-engage South Africa with the world community.
Written by one of South Africa’s leading scholars and political commentators, the book combines historical and contemporary analysis with strategies for an alternative political agenda. Adam Habib connects the lessons of the South African experience with theories of democratic transition, social change, and conflict resolution. Political leaders, scholars, students, and activists will all find material here to deepen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities of contemporary South Africa.
Mozambique has been hailed as a success story by the international community, which has watched it evolve through a series of violent political upheavals: from colonialism, through socialism, to its current democracy. As Juan Obarrio shows, however, this view neglects a crucial element in Mozambique’s transition to the rule of law: the reestablishment of traditional chieftainship and customs entangled within a history of colonial violence and civil war. Drawing on extensive historical records and ethnographic fieldwork, he examines the role of customary law in Mozambique to ask a larger question: what is the place of law in the neoliberal era, in which the juridical and the economic are deeply intertwined in an ongoing state of structural adjustment?
Having made the transition from a people’s republic to democratic rule in the 1990s, Mozambique offers a fascinating case of postwar reconstruction, economic opening, and transitional justice, one in which the customary has played a central role. Obarrio shows how its sovereignty has met countless ambiguities within the entanglements of local community, nation-state, and international structures. The postcolonial nation-state emerges as a maze of entangled jurisdictions. Ultimately, he looks toward local rituals and relations as producing an emergent kind of citizenship in Africa, which he dubs “customary citizenship,” forming not a vestige of the past but a yet ill-defined political future.
Lindy Wilson Ohio University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DT779.8.B48W55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 968.06092
Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.
This short biography of Biko shows how fundamental he was to the reawakening and transformation of South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century—and just how relevant he remains. Biko’s understanding of black consciousness as a weapon of change could not be more relevant today to “restore people to their full humanity.”
As an important historical study, this book’s main sources were unique interviews done in 1989—before the end of apartheid—by the author with Biko’s acquaintances, many of whom have since died.
Adekeye Adebajo Ohio University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DT1949.M434A34 2017 | Dewey Decimal 968.072
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki is a complex figure. He was a committed young Marxist who, while in power, embraced conservative economic policies and protected white corporate interests; a rational and dispassionate thinker who was particularly sensitive to criticism and dissent; and a champion of African self-reliance who relied excessively on foreign capital.
As a key liberation leader in exile, he was instrumental in the ANC’s antiapartheid struggle. Later, he helped build one of the world’s most respected constitutional democracies. As president, though, he was unable to overcome inherited socioeconomic challenges, and his disastrous AIDS policies will remain a major blotch on his legacy.
Mbeki is the most important African political figure of his generation. He will be remembered as a foreign policy president for his peacemaking efforts and his role in building continental institutions, not least of which was the African Union. In this concise biography, ideally suited for the classroom, Adekeye Adebajo seeks to illuminate Mbeki’s contradictions and situate him in a pan-African pantheon.
Unsettled History examines South African society and the construction and presentation of its public pasts, from Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 to South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ®. Conventionally represented as a time of rectifying the silences and distortions of settler history through inclusion and recovery, the focus here instead is on the shifts in processes and locations of historicizing and the unsettled state of categories of framing history in post-apartheid South Africa. This era saw fundamental transformations in the order of knowledge: from the academy to the public; from popular history to public history; from history-as-lesson to history-as-forum.
Leslie Witz, Gary Minkley, and Ciraj Rassool take the reader to sites of historical production in which complex ideas about pasts are invoked, and navigate a path toward understanding the agencies of image-making and memory production. This volume is the outcome of the authors’ intensive collaborative research and engagement over twenty-five years on questions including the production and performance of apartheid history; the cultural politics of social history; South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and practices of orality; tourism as an arena of image-making and historical construction; museums as sites of heritage production for a new South Africa; photographs, archival meanings, and the construction of the social documentary; and the centenary commemorations of the South African War and the making of race. The authors not only witnessed many of these instances of history-making but were also participants in their constitution.
Kendra Allen’s first collection of essays—at its core—is a bunch of mad stories about things she never learned to let go of. Unifying personal narrative and cultural commentary, this collection grapples with the lessons that have been stored between parent and daughter. These parental relationships expose the conditioning that subconsciously informed her ideas on social issues such as colorism, feminism, war-induced PTSD, homophobia, marriage, and “the n-word,” among other things.
These dynamics strive for some semblance of accountability, and the essays within this collection are used as displays of deep unlearning and restoring—balancing trauma and humor, poetics and reality, forgiveness and resentment.
When You Learn the Alphabet allots space for large moments of tenderness and empathy for all black bodies—but especially all black woman bodies—space for the underrepresented humanity and uncared for pain of black girls, and space to have the opportunity to be listened to in order to evolve past it.
For 100 days in 1994, genocide engulfed Rwanda. Since then, many in the international community have praised the country's postgenocide government for its efforts to foster national unity and reconciliation by downplaying ethnic differences and promoting "one Rwanda for all Rwandans." Examining how ordinary rural Rwandans experience and view these policies, Whispering Truth to Power challenges the conventional wisdom on postgenocide Rwanda.
Susan Thomson finds that many of Rwanda's poorest citizens distrust the local officials charged with implementing the state program and believe that it ignores the deepest problems of the countryside: lack of land, jobs, and a voice in policies that affect lives and livelihoods. Based on interviews with dozens of Rwandan peasants and government officials, this book reveals how the nation's disenfranchised poor have been engaging in everyday resistance, cautiously and carefully—"whispering" their truth to the powers that be. This quiet opposition, Thomson argues, suggests that some of the nation's most celebrated postgenocide policies have failed to garner the grassroots support needed to sustain peace.
“Reveals the lengths [to which] the current government has gone to restructure all spaces of Rwandan society, and how Rwandans continue to resist this state interference in their everyday lives.”—Ethnic and Racial Studies
“Thomson’s elegant research is praiseworthy and her arguments are forthright. . . . This important publication will be of great value to scholars of Rwanda and genocide as well as students of reconciliation politics and transitional justice.”—Human Rights Quarterly
“Sobering and disturbing. . . . The peasant peoples’ resistance to official policies of national unity and reconciliation emerged because these national schemes do not reflect the peasants’ own lived realities and experiences of state power, genocide, and day-to-day living within their communities. Instead, these official policies disrupt everyday life and endanger existing networks of mutual support and dependence.”—Canadian Journal of Development Studies
Although the international press closely chronicled the dismantling of South Africa's apartheid policies, it paid little attention to the unique role women from a variety of political parties played in establishing the new government. Utilizing interviews, participant observation, and archival research, Women in the South African Parliament tells an inspiring story of liberation, showing how these women achieved electoral success, learned to work with lifelong enemies, and began to transform Parliament by creating more space for women's voices during a critical time in the life of their democracy.
Arguing from her detailed analysis of the strategies and political tactics used by these South African women, both individually and collectively, Hannah Britton contends that, contrary claims in earlier studies of the developing world, mobilization by women prior to a transition to democracy can lead to gains after the transition--including improvements in constitutional mandates, party politics, and representation. At the same time, Britton demonstrates that not even national leadership can ensure power for all women and that many who were elected to South Africa's first democratic parliament declined to run again, feeling they could have a greater impact working in their own communities.