The neoliberal influence on South Africa’s early democracy and its shortfalls in addressing economic inequality

Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. In this article, I will argue that early post-Apartheid South Africa adopted certain neoliberal principles which compromised the efforts to combat economic inequality. In particular, I will show that the economic policies that South Africa adopted during its early democracy reflect core neoliberal principles which promote a neoliberal political rationality. These economic policies indicate a pivotal approach from the African National Congress government in addressing economic inequality in South Africa. The dramatic shift from traditional Marxist policies to neoliberal policies reveals the significant influence of a neoliberal global market system during South Africa’s early democracy. However, the neoliberal policies failed to address the problem of economic inequality in South Africa. Instead, these policies seem to have deepened the existing economic inequality in contemporary South African society.

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