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Whites and Democracy in South Africa

«Whites and Democracy in South Africa is more than a well-informed and skilful academic argument, it is also a call for white people to take responsibility for their part in building a democratic and non-racial future, and it also offers some clear direction on what needs to be done.»

Laurence Piper, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics

Key book in Whiteness Studies that engages with the different ways in which the last white minority in Africa to give way to majority rule has adjusted to the arrival of democracy and the different modes of transition from "settlers" to "citizens". Les mer

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Key book in Whiteness Studies that engages with the different ways in which the last white minority in Africa to give way to majority rule has adjusted to the arrival of democracy and the different modes of transition from "settlers" to "citizens".

How have whites adjusted to, contributed to and detracted from democracy in South Africa since 1994? Engaging with the literature on 'whiteness' and the current trope that the democratic settlement has failed, this book provides a study of how whites in the last bastion of 'white minority rule' in Africa have adapted to the sweeping political changes they have encountered. It examines the historical context of white supremacy and minority rule, in the past, and the white withdrawal from elsewhere on the African continent. Drawing on focus groups held across the country, Southall explores the difficult issue of 'memory', how whites seek to grapple with the history of apartheid, and how this shapes their reactions to political equality. He argues that whites cannot be regarded as a homogeneous political grouping concluding that while the overwhelming majority of white South Africans feared the coming of democracy during the years of late apartheid, they recognised its inevitability. Many of their fears were, in effect, to be recognised by the Constitution, which embedded individual rights, including those to property and private schooling, alongside the important principle of proportionality of political representation. While a small minority of whites chose to emigrate, the large majority had little choice but to adjust to the democratic settlement which, on the whole, they have done - and in different ways. It was only a small right wing which sought to actively resist; others have sought to withdraw from democracy into social enclaves; but others have embraced democracy actively, either enthusiastically welcoming its freedoms or engaging with its realities in defence of 'minority rights'. Whites may have been reluctant to accept democracy, but democrats - of a sort - they have become, and notwithstanding a significant racialisation of politics in post-apartheid South Africa, they remain an important segment of the "rainbow", although dangers lurk in the future unless present inequalities of both race and class are challenged head on.

African Sun Media: South Africa

Detaljer

Forlag
James Currey
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
284
ISBN
9781847013743
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
23 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

ROGER SOUTHALL is Emeritus Professor in Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand and Professorial Research Associate, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS. His books include Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern Africa (2013) and The New Black Middle Class in South Africa (2016).

Anmeldelser

«Whites and Democracy in South Africa is more than a well-informed and skilful academic argument, it is also a call for white people to take responsibility for their part in building a democratic and non-racial future, and it also offers some clear direction on what needs to be done.»

Laurence Piper, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics

«I commend Southall on his integrity, bravery, diligence and balance in tackling such a hot-potato topic.»

John Fraser, Business Live

«Southall's latest work adds significant insights to a newly critical literature on studies of whiteness, which seeks fresh pathways out of the destructive conundrum created by race and racism.»

Christi van der Westhuizen, The Conversation

«A splendid book of wide interest to anyone concerned with South African politics, past, present and future ... anyone interested in the way our democracy is evolving, and the reasons why it is evolving as it is, should read this book.»

Chris Saunders, University of Cape Town, Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa

«The importance of this volume extends beyond South Africa and critiques the writing of history from a perspective of whiteness oblivious to the impacts of global capitalism and the (under)development of large parts of the world.»

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