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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Towards Understanding New Forms of State Rule in (Southern) Africa in the Era of Globalization
Author:Neocosmos, Michael
Periodical:African Journal of Political Science
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political systems
institutional change
international relations
Politics and Government
External link:https://d.lib.msu.edu/ajps/110/OBJ/download
Abstract:In the recent process of transition in Africa since the 1980s, the form of State rule has been changing in many important ways as have the relations between the State and (civil) society. One of the changes concerns the demise of development as a national State project through which State rule was reproduced and legitimized (culturally and politically) up to the 1980s. While the collapse of the developmental State is now apparent, a clear alternative has yet to become evident in Africa. Often formal multipartyism and elections have been introduced, while at the same time a single-party system has been prevalent to the extent that the earlier ruling parties often continue to control State institutions. In this context, relations between State and civil society may not always exhibit the same kind of obviously repressive characteristics as before, and various alternative forms of legitimation are being experimented with (e.g., rights discourse, national 'visions', reconciliation, neoliberal multipartyism, new forms of corporatism, etc.). This paper addresses several theoretical problems surrounding the analysis of new forms of State rule in Southern Africa in particular. These seem congruent with the current phase of globalization. It seeks to elucidate the workings of developing alternative modes of rule, one based on the plunder of national mineral assets by members of the ruling elite, another legitimized through a State constructed consensus. It debates the various components of the consensual State in South Africa in particular and assesses the extent to which these have been achieved. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]