Venue: Humanities Graduate Center Seminar Room, South-West Engineering University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Description: The State is a concept routinely invoked in South Africa today. We are variously told that the State is in “crisis”, that it is “corrupted”, “captured” or even on the brink of becoming a “failed state”. While the concept is so central to the many diagnoses of what is going wrong in South Africa, however, “the State” is very rarely subjected to rigorous critical analysis.
This year, three prominent research centres at Wits University will be launching a seminar series to complicate and deepen our understanding of the South African state.
Using a strong empirical foundation built over years of research into the public sector and state-society relations, the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), the NRF Chair in Local Histories, Present Realities, and the Center for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (Cubes) are rethinking the history, institutions and spatial dimensions of the South African State.
In the first of this series of seminars, Ivor Chipkin, Claire Benit-Gbaffou and Ferial Haffajee grapple with the history of the South African State and its relation to the rise and rule of the ANC after apartheid.