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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A presumed equality: the relationship between State and citizens in post-apartheid South Africa
Authors:Brown, Julian
Wilson, StuartISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Volume:72
Issue:1
Pages:86-106
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:State-society relationship
conflict
primary education
trials
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00020184.2012.740881
Abstract:This article uses a dispute between a school and the state in contemporary South Africa to examine the complex nature of the relationship between that state and its citizens. It argues that this relationship is best understood as a set of shifting arrangements of authority between bureaucratic institutions, political personalities, the judiciary and, most significantly, South Africa's citizens themselves. The authors suggest that traditional models of the state have underestimated the agency of ordinary citizens. The dispute they examine reveals how actions of ordinary citizens - made possible by the presumption of their equality with the state and its agents - can influence the development of a local or national political order. This article draws upon the detailed documents prepared for the court case that arose from this dispute, as well as upon more recent interviews with teachers at the school. It is influenced by the philosophy of Jacques Rancière, and attempts to interpret his arguments about the nature of politics and equality through a South African experience. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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