New book by Gill Hart on South African politics

ANC 003Only just noticed this, news of a new book by Gill Hart on contemporary South African politics, Rethinking the South African Crisis: nationalism, populism, hegemony. Here is the blurb: 

“Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has become an extreme but not exceptional embodiment of forces at play in many other regions of the world: intensifying inequality alongside “wageless life”; proliferating forms of protest and populist politics that move in different directions; and official efforts at containment ranging from liberal interventions targeting specific populations to increasingly common police brutality.

Rethinking the South African Crisis revisits longstanding debates to shed new light on the transition from apartheid. Drawing on nearly twenty years of ethnographic research, Hart argues that local government has become the key site of contradictions. Local practices, conflicts and struggles in the arenas of everyday life feed into and are shaped by simultaneous processes of de-nationalisation and re-nationalisation. Together they are key to understanding the erosion of ANC hegemony, and the proliferation of populist politics.

This book provides an innovative dialectical analysis of the ongoing, unstable and unresolved crisis in South Africa today. It also suggests how Gramsci’s concept of passive revolution, adapted and translated for present circumstances with the help of Fanon, can do useful analytical and political work in South Africa and beyond.”

Social science and participation: open access teaching resources

dd206_1_unitimageMy penultimate contribution to OU teaching is now online, at the OU’s OpenLearn site – Social Science and Participation is the open-access unit drawn from The Uses of Social Science module that was launched last year (it’s open, and it’s online, but it’s not really a course as such, since the assessment elements are not included, and it may or may not turn out to massive – so, it’s not a MOOC, obviously, more like a MOO, or an OO?). The unit tells some stories about how social science investigates people’s participation in various activities; how people actually participate in social science; and how ideas about participation have been important for how social scientists have contributed to public debates about poverty, including a film on this topic.

This unit has some overlaps with another OpenLearn resource, curated by Nick Mahony and Hilde Stephanson, Participation Now – which seeks to trace all sorts of new forms of public action.

Andy Merrifield on the urban question, old and new

jpsJust bumped into this at the IJURR site – the transcript of an author-meets-critics session with Andy Merrifield, from earlier this year, discussing The Urban Question under Planetary Urbanization and ‘the politics of encounter’.