MODULE 1: The political context: from liberation to accommodation?


  1. Barry Gills, Joel Rocamora and Richard Wilson (1993), ‘Low Intensity Democracy’, in Low Intensity Democracy: Political Power in the New World Order. London: Pluto Press
  2. Dale T. McKinley (1997), ‘Returning Home: The Strategy and Practice of Accommodation’ and Conclusion in The ANC and the Liberation Struggle: A Critical Political Biography (London: Pluto Press)
  3. Lesley Catchpole & Christine Cooper (2003), ‘Neoliberal Corporatism: Origins and Implications for South Africa’, in Rethinking the Labour Movement in the New South Africa, edited by Tom Bramble and Franco Barchiesi (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate Publishers)
  4. Roger Etkind & Suzanna Harvey (1993), ‘The workers cease fire’, South African Labour Bulletin, Vol.17, No.5 (September-October)

Key Questions:

  1. Did South Africa adopt a ‘low intensity democracy’ framework in 1994? Explain your answer by giving concrete examples.
  2. Was any other outcome, other than the kind of negotiated settlement that happened, possible in the early 1990s?
  3. Is a corporatist ‘social contract’ between labour, state and capital (for example, as in Germany, Sweden) beneficial or detrimental to working class interests?
  4. Did the leadership of the Alliance (the ANC/SACP/COSATU) hijack the process of drawing up the RDP and if so, how?
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