research paper

Topics: Democracy, Political philosophy, South Africa Pages: 18 (5814 words) Published: June 20, 2014
Towards Democratic Justice? Land Reform in South Africa:

This article theoretically establishes the interconnections between justice and democracy, and empirically explores the case of land reform in South Africa in the light of these interconnections. Firstly, it argues that democracy must ensure the realisation of social justice in order to create the conditions for human freedom and a truly inclusive and legitimate democracy. Secondly, the article argues that justice must also be subject to democratisation, i.e. public participation and deliberation on what should be distributed, how and to whom, termed democratic justice. In South Africa, there are significant concerns about the lack of redistribution and the continued exclusion of the poor, meaning that democratic justice is some way far from being achieved. INTRODUCTION

Many countries across the world are now democratic and apparently place liberty and welfare at the centre of their value and policy systems. However, poverty, vulnerability and inequality remain major social problems, most starkly in former colonised countries facing the legacy of historical repression. Movements struggling for social justice and theorists concerned with such issues are increasingly highlighting the interconnections of democracy and justice, in particular how democracy requires social justice and how social justice (henceforth termed justice) must be democratic. This article examines the theoretical aspects of such interconnections and considers what this means for the case of land reform in South Africa.

Centuries of colonialism and decades of apartheid have made South Africa one of the most unequal countries in the world and the distribution of land is a major aspect of such inequality. Through repressive legislation based on racist ideology, black people were denied civil and political rights, and excluded from economic rights such as benefiting from the resources of the country. White governments supported white agriculture, jobs and industry through subsidies and job guarantees, and ensured black people would provide a cheap labour force. The scale of land dispossession was vast. Those defined as Africans were segregated into tribal reserves, called Bantustans or homelands, governed by Native Authorities. Under the 1913 Land Act 7 per cent of land was allocated for these reserves, increasing to 13 per cent in 1936. Apartheid, which began in 1948 under the National Party, cemented these policies. Millions of African, coloured and Indian people were forcibly moved from cities to townships on the outskirts and from ‘black-spots’ in white-designated areas to the Bantustans. By the end of apartheid in 1994, more than a third of the total population (16 million people) lived in the overcrowded and poorly resourced Bantustans (Thompson, 2006). Millions more lived in townships and squatter camps with inadequate housing and poor sanitation, water and electricity supply. Overall, just 60,000 white farmers owned over 70 per cent of the land (Ntsebeza, 2004).

Of central concern in the newly democratic South Africa was the issue of how to repair the damage of the past and ensure a better life for those excluded and dispossessed through reparative and redistributive justice. Land reform was seen as essential to this. It has been described as central to the future of democracy in South Africa and key to combatting poverty, stimulating economic growth and creating a more equal society (Gibson, 2008). For countries subjected to brutal institutionalised racism like South Africa, access to and rights over land can provide redress, reconstitute community identity and ensure livelihoods - in sum, as Moyo and Hall (2007: 153) argue, ‘provide the basis for full citizenship’.

Why describe land reform as central to the future of democracy? Evoked in such a statement is the sense that democracy both promises and requires a level of equality and justice. There is a vast literature...

References: Beetham, D. (2004), Democracy, Oxford: One World Publications.
Beetham, D. (2001), ‘Political Legitimacy’ in K. Nash and A. Scott (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, London: Blackwell.
Bernstein, H. 2004. ‘Changing before our very eyes: agrarian questions and the politics of land in capitalism today’, Journal of Agrarian Change 4, 1–2, 190–225.
Bohman, J. (2007), ‘Beyond Distributive Justice and Struggles for Recognition: Freedom, Democracy, and Critical Theory’, European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 6, no. 3, pp.267–76.
Bond, P. (2010), ‘South Africa loses its War on Poverty’, Pambazuka News, Vol. 493.
Butler, A. (2004), Contemporary South Africa, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Chambers, R. (1983), Rural Development: Putting the Last First, Essex: Longman.
COSATU. (2010), The Alliance at a Crossroads – the battle against a predatory elite and political paralysis, CEC Political Discussion Paper.
Dewey, J. (1988), ‘The Public and Its Problems’, in The Later Works, 1925–1937, vol.2, Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press.
Eide, A, Oshaug, A and Eide, W. B. (1991), ‘Food Security and the Right to Food in International Law and Development’, Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 1, no. 2, pp.415–67.
Forst, R. (2007), ‘First Things First: Redistribution, Recognition and Justification’, European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 6, no. 3, pp.291–304.
Forst, R. 1994. ‘Review John Rawls: Political Liberalism’, Constellations, Vol.1, pp.163-171.
Fraser, N
Fraser, N. and Honneth, A. (2003), Redistribution or Recognition: A Political-Philosophical Exchange, London: Verso.
Gibson, J. L. (2008), ‘Land Redistribution/Restitution in South Africa: A Model of Multiple Values, as the Past Meets the Present’, Paper prepared for delivery at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 28–31.
Gibson, N. C. (2006), ‘Introduction’, in N. C. Gibson (Ed.), Challenging Hegemony: Social Movements and the Quest for a New Humanism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, New Jersey: Africa World Press.
Habermas, J. (2001), The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Cambridge: Polity.
Habib, A. and Kotze, H. (2004), ‘Civil Society, Governance and Development in an Era of Globalisation: The South African Case’, in G. Mhone and O. Edigheji (Eds.), Governance in the New South Africa, Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.
Hart, G. (2002), Disabling Globalisation: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press.
Hendriks, C. M. (2006), ‘Integrated Deliberation: Reconciling Civil Society 's Dual Role in Deliberative Democracy’, Political Studies, Vol. 54, pp.486–508.
Hicks, J. and Buccus, I. (2009), ‘Building Political Will for Refining Public Participation in South Africa’, in C. Malena (ed.), From Political Won’t to Political Will: Building Support for Participatory Governance. Kumarian Press.
Honneth, A. (2007), ‘Recognition and Justice: Outline of a Plural Theory of Justice’, Acta Sociologica, Vol. 47, no. 4, pp.351–64.
Human Development Report. (2010), The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development. UN: United Nations Development Programme.
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). (2008), South Africa Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) 2008, Cape Town: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.
Kepe, T., Hall, R. and Cousins, B. (2008), ‘Land’, in N. Shepard and S. Robbins (eds.), New South African Keywords, Johannesburg: Jacana.
Koelble, T. A. and Lipuma, E. (2005), ‘Traditional Leaders and Democracy’, in S. L. Robbins (Ed.), Limits to Liberation after Apartheid: Citizenship, Governance and Culture, Oxford: James Currey Press.
Lahiff, E. (2007), ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller: South Africa’s failed experiment in market-led agrarian reform’, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 1577–97.
Marais, H. (2010), South Africa pushed to the limit: The political economy of change, Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.
Neocosmos, M. (2010), ‘Analysing Political Subjectivities: Naming the Post-developmental State in Africa Today’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. 45 no. 5, pp.534–553.
Nussbaum, M. (2000), Women and Human Development, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O’Mahony, P. (2011), ‘Democracy, Complexity and Participation’, Irish Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 3, no. 1.
O’Sullivan, S. (2011), Democracy, Justice and Solidarity in an Unequal World: A Case Study of Land Reform in South Africa,.
PLAAS. (2009), Umhlaba Wethu, Bulletin 9, University of the Western Cape: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
Rawls, J. (1972), A Theory of Justice, New York: Doubleday.
Rawls, J. (1993), Political Liberalism, New York: Columbia University Press.
Sandel, M. J. (2009), Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do? London: Penguin.
Saul, J. S. (2005), The Next Liberation Struggle, Toronto: Between the Lines Books.
Seekings, J. and Nattrass, N. (2006), Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa, South Africa: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
Sen, A. (2009), The Idea of Justice, London: Penguin Allen Lane.
Sen, A. (1999a), Development as Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sen, A. (1999b), ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 10, no. 3, pp.3–17.
Sen, A. (1998), ‘Human Development and Financial Conservatism,’ World Development, Vol. 26, no. 4, pp.733–742.
Taylor, I. (2002), ‘Neo-liberalism and Democracy: The Role of Intellectuals in South Africa’s Democratic Transition’, in H. Melber (Ed.), Political Cultures in Democratic South Africa, Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, discussion paper 19.
Terreblanche, S. (2002), A History of Inequality in South Africa 1652–2000, South Africa: University of Natal Press and KMM Review Publishing.
Thompson, L. (2006), A History of South Africa, Johannesburg and Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers.
Tilly, C. (2007), Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Vitale, D. (2006), ‘Between deliberative and participatory democracy: A contribution on Habermas’, Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 32, pp.739–66.
Young, I. M. (2000), Inclusion and Democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Beginner: Paper and Good Research Point
  • PSY 315 Research Statistics and Psychology Paper
  • General Paper
  • Enzymes and Paper
  • SOC 203 Week 3 Assignment Research Paper Preparation
  • School Papers
  • Banana Paper
  • Paper Flower

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
0 rponse | _Martial_ - France | KWU kelompok 8 (fix).docx Download