The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Multi-layered inequalities and a sense of insecurity has long been the hallmark of South African life. Recently, however, the uncertainties of Covid-19 have led to greater shared experiences of vulnerability among South Africans. This volume of State of the Nation offers perspectives that may help us navigate our way through the ‘new normal’ in which we find ourselves. Foremost among the unavoidable political and socioeconomic interventions that will be required are interventions based on an ethics of care. Care as an essential attribute must be inserted into all of the diverse contexts that structure needs, desires and relations of power.

An ethics of care requires us to reconsider relations of domination, oppression, injustice, inequality, or paternalism within the state. In a democratic post-apartheid state that confirms human connectedness, bodies matter and this knowledge must be driven by active citizenship. We are all caught up in webs of power that require of us, as individuals and as communities, the will and understanding to combat and counter poverty and inequality and thus to improve the state of the nation. The effects of poverty and inequality are as insidious as Covid-19 and render the most vulnerable even more powerless in the face of this and similar ravages. Now, more than ever, we need to prioritise an ethics of care.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 416 tbc
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2596-1
Publish Year : February 2021
Rights : World Rights

1 An ethico-political approach to poverty and inequality: embodying care and corporeal citizenship

Narnia Bohler-Muller, Crain Soudien and Vasu Reddy

2 Reconsidering South Africa’s electoral system: what are the alternatives?

Sithembile Mbete and Vasu Reddy

3 Thinking ethically about women, power and land in South Africa: some observations Narnia Bohler-Muller, Karabo Magagane and Nokuthula Olorunju

4 Presidential leadership and accountability from Mandela to Ramaphosa

Richard Calland and Mabel Nederlof Sithole

5 A normative approach to the minimum core: Minimum requirements for a life of dignity Gary Pienaar, Michael Cosser and Yul Derek Davids

6 Diminishing the power of the x: The electoral effect of corruption perceptions

Benjamin J Roberts, Ngqapheli Mchunu, Steven L Gordon and Jarè Struwig

7 An empirical assessment of the national minimum wage in South Africa: Key considerations and debates

Haroon Bohrat, Ravi Kanbur, Benjamin Stanwix

8 Taxation, inequality and a progressive economy

Imraan Valodia and David Francis

9 South African food politics: Human rights, security and sovereignty

Patrick Bond, with Thobekile Zikhali and Thabani Mdlongwa

10 The right to education in South Africa: Policy tensions and the quest for balance Crain Soudien, Andrea Juan and Jaqui Harvey

11 Access to health care: Life Esidimeni and the vulnerability of the mentally ill

Ames Dhai, Jillian Gardner and Safia Mahomed

12 The pursuit of inclusive health services:

Ethics and accountability

Mzikazi Nduna and Sibusiso Mkwananzi

13 Anti-immigrant violence as social group

control vigilantism: Understanding attitudes,

behaviours and solutions

Steven Gordon, Marie Wentzel and Johan

Viljoen

14 Cultures of sexualities and gender in

Afrika’s changing nation

Zethu Matebeni

15 Through the lens of post-apartheid

filmmaking: Chapter 16 spaces of poverty and

social disparity in Yesterday, Jerusalema and

District 9

Subeshini Moodley

16 Diarised precarity and the crisis of informal

settlements

Grace Musila

17 South Africa and the global economy

Fuad Cassim

18 A foreign policy of ubuntu? South African

foreign policy values and priorities

Joleen Steyn-Kotze and Steven Gordon

19 Is pan-Africanism the future?

Francis Kornegay

Narnia Bohler-Muller (BJuris LLB LLM LLD) was Professor of Law at Vista University and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) before joining Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) as director of social sciences in 2011. Currently she is Divisional Executive of the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State research programme at the HSRC, adjunct Professor of the Nelson R Mandela School of Law, University of Fort Hare and a Research Fellow with the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies, University of Free State. Prof. Bohler Muller has over 100 peer reviewed journal publications and book chapters, and has co edited five books. She is an admitted Advocate of the High Court and served as presiding officer for the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) in Port Elizabeth. She has completed research fellowships at Griffith University's law faculty in Brisbane, Australia; Birkbeck School of Law in London, UK; and the BRICS Policy Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prof Bohler-Muller has represented South Africa in multilateral fora such as BRICS and has represented South Africa in the last two W20 Dialogues in Argentina and Japan. Her research interests include international and constitutional law, human rights, democracy, governance and social justice. In 2016 she was shortlisted as one of 14 candidates for the position of Public Protector.

Professor Crain Soudien is the Chief Executive Officer of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He holds a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a former deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, where he remains an emeritus professor in Education and African Studies. His publications in the areas of social difference, culture, education policy, comparative education, educational change, public history and popular culture include four books, four edited collections and over 200 articles, reviews, reports, and book chapters, including a 2017 publication entitled Nelson Mandela: Comparative Perspectives of his Significance for Education. He is involved in a number of local, national and international social and cultural organisations and is chairperson of the Independent Examinations Board, former chairperson of the District Six Museum Foundation, a former president of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, and has served as the chair of three Ministerial Committees of Enquiry, including the Ministerial Committee on Transformation in Higher Education and the Ministerial Committee to Evaluate Textbooks for Discrimination. He is a fellow of a number of local and international academies and serves on the boards of a number of cultural, heritage, education and civil society structures.

Vasu Reddy is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria. His research focus is in human and social development, particularly identity marker issues (genders, sexualities, HIV, AIDS, social justice and diversity) as well as humanities questions that address policy dimensions. He taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and worked as a researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council where he later headed the Human and Social Development research programme as Executive Director. He is a member of the editorial board of three journals: Agenda, Feminist Africa and Women’s Studies International Forum. He is also an editor of Transformation: Critical perspectives on Southern Africa. He received a B-3 rating from the National Research Foundation.

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