Paper $28.95 ISBN: 9781783602230 Published December 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783602247 Published December 2015 For sale in North and South America only

South Africa

Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy

Thiven Reddy

South Africa

Thiven Reddy

Distributed for Zed Books

192 pages | 5 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $28.95 ISBN: 9781783602230 Published December 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783602247 Published December 2015 For sale in North and South America only
On paper, post-apartheid South Africa is a smoothly functioning liberal democracy, with regular elections, multiple political parties, and a range of progressive social rights. And in a certain sense, that’s not untrue. Nonetheless, a darker reality lurks in the background: an all-too-pervasive politics of the extraordinary, where the political discourse relies on threats and violence, and conflicts are presented in starkly racial terms.

In this book, Thiven Reddy exposes that other South Africa, showing how conventional approaches to understanding democratization in the nation have failed to capture the complexities of the post-apartheid transition. She draws clear lines between the troubling legacies of imperialism and the problems in today’s South Africa, showing how lingering modes of imperialist domination continue to shape both capitalism and individual identity. A powerful, revealing work, Reddy’s book will change the way that both political scientists and citizens think about contemporary South Africa.

1. Modernity: Civil Society, Political Society and the Vulnerable

2. The Limits of the Conventional Paradigm, Modernity and South African Democracy

3. The Fanonian Paradigm, Settler Colonialism and South African Democracy

4. The Colonial State and Settler-Colonial Modernism

5. Nationalism, ANC and Domination Without Hegemony

6. Elites, Masses and Democratic Change

7. Crisis of the National Modern: Democracy, the State and ANC Dominance

Review Quotes
Anthony Bogues, Brown University
“Reddy’s book is an important attempt to provide us with a framework for understanding present-day South African politics. Working critically and productively against conventional political science paradigms, this work comes at a crucial junction in the afterlife of apartheid.”
Colin Bundy, Oxford University
“Offers a radical, dissenting and original analysis of contemporary South Africa” 
Harry Garuba, University of Cape Town
“With impressive theoretical sophistication, Reddy draws upon ideas from a range of theorists and scholars to create a conceptual toolkit for an empirically grounded analysis of contemporary South African politics. This is a book that South African political studies has been waiting for.”
“This book provides an in-depth analysis of South Africa’s struggle with its colonial legacy. Reddy explains that the troubled state of democracy in South Africa relates to the broader question of modernity in post-colonial situations. He argues that the assumption of the Western liberal democratic model as an inevitable process, a desirable end goal and a standard of evaluation, must be questioned. . . . The book provides many detailed accounts of South Africa’s colonial and post-colonial history. Anybody interested in South Africa should read it. Recommended.”
Foreign Affairs
Harnessing sophisticated scholarly literature on the subject, [Reddy] argues that South Africa’s past as a settler colony ruled for decades by authoritarian white supremacists has made its transition to liberal democracy particularly difficult.”
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