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The social and economic successes of Asia have drawn global attention to the developmental state as a possible model for developing countries. In South Africa, many, including government, see this as a possible panacea to the country's social, economic and institutional crises. However, a government committing itself to constructing a developmental state is one thing; actually implementing the necessary institutional and policy reforms to bring that into reality is another.
The media play a key role in post-apartheid South Africa and is often positioned at the centre of debates around politics, identity and culture. Media, such as radio, are often said to also play a role in deepening democracy, while simultaneously holding the power to frame political events, shape public discourse and impact citizens’ perceptions of reality. Broadcasting Democracy: Radio and Identity in South Africa provides an exciting look into the diverse world of South African radio, exploring how various radio formats and stations play a role in constructing post-apartheid identities. At the centre of the book is the argument that various types of radio stations represent autonomous systems of cultural activity, and are ‘consumed’ as such by listeners. In this sense, it argues that South African radio is ‘broadcasting democracy’. Broadcasting Democracy will be of interest to media scholars and radio listeners alike.