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An Ordinary Country: Issues in the Transition from Apartheid to Democracy in South Africa

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An Ordinary Country

Issues in the Transition from Apartheid to Democracy in South Africa

Neville Alexander†

228 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-261-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 2003)

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Disputing the notion of a 'miracle' transition in South Africa, the author argues that the new South Africa had to happen as it did because of the socio-historical make-up of the country and the leading players involved.He identifies and explains some of the turning points at which critical choices were made by local and international forces. Alexander, a former leading political activist and commentator who spent time on Robben Island, goes beyond what he calls 'the effervescence of parliamentary debate and grandstanding' and explores a range of issues in post-apartheid South Africa including national identity and the rainbow nation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the role and status of language, showing the volatility, the tentativeness,and the fluidity of the evolving situation.

Neville Alexander† taught at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Cultural Studies (General)
Area: Africa




Chapter 1. 'Race' and Class in South African Historiography: An Overview
Chapter 2. Nationalism and the Dynamics of the Liberation Movement
Chapter 3. The Peculiarities of the Transition to Democracy in South Africa
Chapter 4. The Post-Apartheid State
Chapter 5. Nation Building and the Politics of Identity
Chapter 6. The Politics of Reconciliation
Chapter 7. South Africa: Example or Illusion?


Appendix: Extracts from the South African Constitution


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