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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Developmental local government in post-apartheid South Africa? A feminist rethinking of the state and development in the context of neo-liberalism
Author:Samson, MelanieISNI
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:local government
gender inequality
political participation
Economics, Commerce
South Africa--Economic policy
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24483894
Abstract:There is a need to re-establish a proactive, developmental role for the State in Africa. This article argues that in the current conjuncture such a project must be grounded in a radical reconceptualization of both development and the State. Furthermore, renewed support for a developmental State must overcome the weaknesses within the original model itself. Key amongst these were its blindness towards gender inequalities, and its conceptualization of development as a set of outcomes to be delivered by the State to a passive population. The article argues that in a context where it is difficult to even imagine an alternative to neoliberalism, development should be redefined as building collective capacity to envision, create and struggle for a society and economy free of gender, racial and class exploitation. The State must be reconfigured so that it is both strengthened by and helps to build collective capacity through processes of participatory democracy attentive to addressing and overcoming the inequalities of gender, race and class. Amidst the continent-wide retreat of the State from an active role in the development process, South Africa's postapartheid policy of 'developmental local government' would seem to be grounded in just such a retheorization of the State and development. The article argues, however, that the South African approach is compromized by three weaknesses at the level of policy formulation. These pertain to the liberal conceptualization of participation, the reduction of commitments to gender transformation to a focus on the participation of women, and the endorsement of a contracting vision for the local State which eliminates an active role for either the State or the citizenry in the development process. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]