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Saul Dubow

Liberalism in South Africa has attracted criticism from many quarters. A persistent objection focuses on the association between liberalism and capitalism, with liberals often cast as defenders of privilege and inequity and thereby as aligned with domination rather than liberation. This characterisation relies on a great deal of oversimplification. The length of the South African liberal tradition, and its diverse influences, means that South African liberalism resists easy definition. It is better seen as a family of resemblances than in terms of a lineage. The historical development of South African liberalism has therefore to be understood, above all, in terms of local conditions and contexts. By looking at its long history in this manner, it is possible to identify persistent strands of thought that are often disposed to support redistributive mechanisms. These may not be fully egalitarian and they may be pursued for pragmatic and prudential ends rather than as a matter of principle. Nevertheless, they include principled opposition to apartheid policies. Free-market ideologues have been exceptional within the long liberal tradition. An historical appreciation of the redistributive components of South African liberalism may help those who wish to revive modern liberalism as a social democratic movement.

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'(I've Never Met) a Nice South African'

Virtuous Citizenship and Popular Sovereignty

Lawrence Hamilton

What is virtuous citizenship? Is it possible to be a virtuous citizen whatever the form of one's state? Is it possible to be a virtuous citizen in the new South Africa? In this article I defend some Republican ideas on civic virtue and popular sovereignty, especially as found in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to suggest that popular sovereignty is a necessary condition for active and virtuous citizenship. For it is only under conditions of popular sovereignty that the right kind of political agency is possible. I discuss these ideas in the context of modern constitutional democracies, and argue that constitutional democracy in South Africa is not an instance of popular sovereignty and thus does not provide the possibility for virtuous citizenship. I end the article with a proposal for addressing these deficiencies: effective citizen control over the constitution by means of a decennial plebiscite—a carnival of citizenship.

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Chris Allsobrook

The Dialectical Tradition in South Africa by Andrew Nash

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Lauren Marx

It is often said that history is written from the victors’ perspective and Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe’s legacy has become something of a historical footnote by the South African political majority where he is simply described as the movement

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Jonathan Allen

South Africa's Struggle for Human Rights by S. Dubow Intellectual Traditions in South Africa: Ideas, Individuals and Institutions by P. Vale, L. Hamilton and E. Prinsloo (eds). Review by Jonathan Allen

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Bernard Dubbeld

Re-Imagining the Social in South Africa: Critique, Theory, and Post-Apartheid Society, edited by Heather Jacklin and Peter Vale

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Class versus Nation

A History of Richard Turner’s Eclipse and Resurgence

Ian Macqueen

the philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre, gained him not only a Ph.D. but also shaped his life’s outlook and direction. He returned to South Africa convinced by the conclusions of his thesis, that human society was essentially the product of individual and

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The Ambiguity of Subversion

Resistance through Radio Broadcasting

Gisli Vogler

subversion. Fourthly, this article illustrates this refined account of subversive resistance on the example of the subversive radio broadcasts during apartheid in South Africa. In line with Fanon, I focus on the grey zones of resistance from the perspective

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The Keys to the Economic Kingdom

State Intervention and the Overcoming of Dependency in Africa before the Crisis of the 1970s

Bill Freund

Africa is an African country and needs to be thought about in the context of other African historical and modern experiences, this may be a fruitful way to proceed. In the final section, this article turns to South Africa but instead of comparisons with

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Daryl Glaser

The South African university system has experienced intense student-led protests since early 2015. One of the stakes in the conflict is democratic legitimacy. The legitimacy conflicts roiling universities are, to be sure, not mainly about