Dependency and Hegemony in Neoliberal South Africa

McKenzie, Rex A. (2017) Dependency and Hegemony in Neoliberal South Africa. (Discussion Paper) Kingston upon Thames, U.K. : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University. 21 p. (Economics Discussion Paper, no. 2017-04)


This article is about South Africa in the post-apartheid period. It has two aspects; first it examines the social and political process through which the African National Congress (ANC) shifted its emphasis away from the construction of the nationalist project (as defined by its 1955 Freedom Charter), towards a world view that privileges markets as the main organising mechanisms in society. Inevitably, accompanying this shift to neoliberalism there has been a corresponding surrender of macroeconomic economic policy autonomy. Such policy is now geared to propitiating global markets that periodically exhibit high degrees of instability. The question arises – how is the ANC able to manage two diametrically opposed tendencies without social upheaval and dislocation? The answers proffered here centres on hegemonic and dependency dynamics that are in motion in contemporary South Africa.

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