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Publication Details

Reference
Bond, Patrick  (2004) The ANC’s ‘Left Turn’ and South African Subimperialism: Ideology, Geopolitics and Capital Accumulation
Centre for civil society : 1-19.

Summary
The South African government is widely considered to play a progressive role in world and African politics, and expectations rose after the 2004 election that Pretoria would join a global backlash against neoliberalism. However, Africanists and African social justice activists should consider such claims with caution, in view of contrary evidence during the first half of 2004. The radical rhetoric often emanating from Pretoria hardly disguises the post-apartheid record of integrationist strategies. Those ongoing strategies, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, include ‘normalised’ bilateral military relations with the US Pentagon and geopolitical alliances with Washington across Africa; further trade liberalisation; increasing legitimation of Western financial power; lubrication of transnational capital in Africa; and opposition to reparations for the West’s apartheid-era profits. While some academic commentators have not yet grasped the essence of the problem, activists in the African Social Forum networks have, and periodically demand alternative strategies. Their vision is grounded in social justice and international solidarity; Pretoria’s appears to be merely subimperialist.

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