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Books > Social sciences > Politics & government > Political activism > General

They Didn't See Us Coming - The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties (Hardcover): Lisa Levenstein They Didn't See Us Coming - The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties (Hardcover)
Lisa Levenstein
R703 R554 Discovery Miles 5 540 Save R149 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

On January 21, 2017, massive demonstrations in Washington DC and sister marches held in over 600 American cities drew crowds of over four million people. Popularly called 'The Women's March,' it became the largest single-day protest in American history. The feminism that shaped the consciousness of millions in 2017 had distinct roots in the 1990s. In They Didn't See Us Coming, historian Lisa Levenstein argues we have missed much of the past quarter century of the women's movement because the conventional wisdom is that the '90s was the moment when the movement splintered into competing factions. But by showcasing voices and stories long overlooked by popular culture and scholars, They Didn't See Us Coming shows that this decade was actually a time of intense and international coalition building. This activism centered around the growing influence of women of color, women with disabilities, women from the global South, and people of ranging gender expressions and identities. Together, they built a movement from the margins. Exclusion sparked action. Moments like the 1995 Beijing Women's Conference, whose major players included Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug and where Hillary Clinton famously declared, 'Women's rights are human rights,' were also stages for less-remembered but no less important calls to action. Wheelchair riders staged a 'crawl in' protest when a panel on disabilities was held on the third floor of a building with no elevator-a consciousness-raising moment that informed much of the work around disabilities for the remainder of the decade. Meanwhile, new tools like e-mail, listservs, and discussion boards brought people with common purpose into instant contact; activists working on campuses and in culture, like Riot Grrls and Guerilla Girls, organized in ad hoc and less visible ways, without figureheads but with clarity of purpose. All this work reveals a thriving (but changing) women's movement. A necessary and fresh understanding of a transformative period in the history of American and international feminism, They Didn't See Us Coming also offers an urgent road map for thinking about organizing today and continuing to build on the work of these extraordinary activists.

They Fought for Freedom: Helen Joseph: Grade 10 - 12 (Paperback): J. Frederikse They Fought for Freedom: Helen Joseph: Grade 10 - 12 (Paperback)
J. Frederikse; Edited by John Pampallis, C. van Wyk
R142 R120 Discovery Miles 1 200 Save R22 (15%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Born in England, Helen Joseph came to South Africa via India when she was 26. Living a privileged life did not stop Helen from questioning racism and inequalities in her adopted country. It was only in her forties when she began working actively to bring about political change. Helen played key roles in the Congress of Democrats, Federation of South African Women, UDF and ANC. Charged with treason in the 1950s and one of the leaders of the march by women in 1956, the "granny" of the struggle had the dubious honour of being the first South African placed under house arrest. Undeterred by bannings, she constantly challenged her opponents and still had the time to form strong friendships with activists such as Lilian Ngoyi and David Webster. When asked why she continued to fight against apartheid, Helen replied, 'It makes me more rich than anybody I can think of.' This book shares those riches with a generation of readers who now live in a democracy that Helen herself did not live to see. They Fought for Freedom tells the life stories of southern African leaders who struggled for freedom and justice. In spite of the important roles they played in the history of southern Africa, most of these leaders have been largely ignored by the history books. The series tells their stories in an entertaining manner, in clear language and aims to restore them to their rightful place in history.

Speaking Out - Case Studies on How Poor People Influence Decision Making (Paperback): Jo Rowlands, Nikki Van Der Gaag Speaking Out - Case Studies on How Poor People Influence Decision Making (Paperback)
Jo Rowlands, Nikki Van Der Gaag
R409 Discovery Miles 4 090 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Many poor people around the world are denied the opportunity to have their say. Politics generally works well for those in power, but those in poverty are often excluded from forums that directly affect their welfare and so are unable to hold decision-makers to account. Speaking Out describes different ways to strengthen the participation of people in poverty so that they become active citizens and shape policy decisions. The book includes different approaches, lessons learned, and useful case study examples on issues ranging from local community budget monitoring to popular mobilization and media work. The chapters show that addressing a lack of ability to speak out against injustice, as well as the more tangible issues, can make a big difference to people's ability to achieve greater well-being and to get out of poverty, and so work towards a point where poor and marginalized women and men are more able to access their rights. This book will be of interest to all concerned with issues of citizen participation and equality worldwide, particularly trainers and practitioners in community development work.

Direct Action and Liberal Democracy (Routledge Library Editions:Political Science Volume 6) (Hardcover): April Carter Direct Action and Liberal Democracy (Routledge Library Editions:Political Science Volume 6) (Hardcover)
April Carter
R2,956 Discovery Miles 29 560 Ships in 10 - 15 working days


This study focuses primarily on the nature of direct action in relation to contemporary movements, and considers the role of direct action methods in past campaigns for constitutional and social rights. Boycotts, sit-ins, obstructions, civil disobedience and other unconstitutional forms of protest are examined to see whether they necessarily lead to violence. The political conditions which encourage violence and the effects of various type of violent action are also discussed. The theoretical issues raised by direct action in a parliamentary system are also discussed.

Stick it to the Man - Protest Stickers (Other printed item): Stickerbomb Stick it to the Man - Protest Stickers (Other printed item)
Stickerbomb
R362 R243 Discovery Miles 2 430 Save R119 (33%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This timely sticker book brings together around 200 of the best protest stickers created by artists and activists around the world. Funny, irreverent, bold and poignant, the stickers tackle key issues of acute concern today, including feminism, equality/LGBTQ rights, racism, nationalism, immigration and asylum. Join the protest movement, stickerbomb the world around you and Stick it to the Man!

Foucault with Marx (Paperback): Jacques Bidet Foucault with Marx (Paperback)
Jacques Bidet; Translated by Steven Corcoran
R389 Discovery Miles 3 890 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

With this timely commitment, Jacques Bidet unites the theories of arguably the world's two greatest emancipatory political thinkers. In this far-reaching and decisive text, Bidet examines Marxian and Foucauldian criticisms of capitalist modernity. For Marx, the intersection between capital and the market is crucial, while for Foucault, the organizational aspects of capital are what really matter. According to Marx, the ruling class is identified with property; with Foucault, it is the managers who hold power and knowledge that rule. Bidet identifies these two sides of capitalist modernity as 'market' and 'organization', showing that each leads to specific forms of social conflict; against exploitation and austerity, over wages and pensions on the one hand, and against forms of 'medical' and work-based discipline, control of bodies and prisons on the other. Bidet's impetus and clarity however serve a greater purpose: uniting two souls of critical social theory, in order to overcome what has become an age-long separation between the 'old left' and the 'new social movements'.

They Fought for Freedom: Dora Tamana: Grade 10 - 12 (Paperback): J Rosenthal They Fought for Freedom: Dora Tamana: Grade 10 - 12 (Paperback)
J Rosenthal; Edited by John Pampallis, C. van Wyk
R142 R120 Discovery Miles 1 200 Save R22 (15%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

In the 1940s, Dora Tamana ran a day-care centre for children in a shack in Cape Town. She had no money for pencils and paper, but by writing words in the sand with a stick, she taught the children to read and write. This was only a small part of Dora's work. To improve the living conditions of her people, she organised demonstrations, planned campaigns against racism and distributed political newspapers. She was also a leading member of the SACP, ANC and a founder member of the Federation of South African Women. Dora was banned and jailed for her political work, but her beliefs have taken hold in South Africa's new democracy. Dora Tamana died in 1983. They Fought for Freedom tells the life stories of southern African leaders who struggled for freedom and justice. In spite of the important roles they played in the history of southern Africa, most of these leaders have been largely ignored by the history books. The series tells their stories in an entertaining manner, in clear language and aims to restore them to their rightful place in history.

Local Politics Matters - A Citizen's Guide to Making a Difference (Paperback): Richard J. Meagher Local Politics Matters - A Citizen's Guide to Making a Difference (Paperback)
Richard J. Meagher
R368 R297 Discovery Miles 2 970 Save R71 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Slumboy from the Golden City (Paperback): Paul Joseph Slumboy from the Golden City (Paperback)
Paul Joseph
R330 R273 Discovery Miles 2 730 Save R57 (17%) In stock

Paul Joseph grew up in the 1930s South Africa. He awoke to political activism as an Indian in the racially segregated schools and slums of Johannesburg, and aged just 15, committed himself to fight oppression. He participated in ANC political campaigns from the passive resistance of the 1940s - inspired by Gandhi - through to the armed struggle adopted by the ANC in the 1960s. He was arrested and banned several times and, in 1956, was one of the 156 people accused of high treason by the Apartheid government - alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Lilian Ngoyi, Ruth First and Helen Joseph. Paul Joseph was held in detention following the Sharpeville Massacre, the banning of the ANC and the imposition of the state of emergency. One of the first recruits of UmKhonto We Sizwe (spear of the nation) - the armed wing of the ANC - he was put under house arrest and then solitary confinement in the Johannesburg prison known as The Fort. Later he had to flee the country. His story shows how the political and personal aspects of his life were intertwined. He shares the impact of his political actions on the lives of those closest to him, in South Africa and in political asylum in London. With an eye for detail and extensive knowledge of South Africans across the racial and class divides, Paul documents social and political issues in one of the most significant liberation struggles of the 20th century.

Lilian Ngoyi (Paperback): Dianne Steward Lilian Ngoyi (Paperback)
Dianne Steward; Edited by John Pampallis
R142 R120 Discovery Miles 1 200 Save R22 (15%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

They Fought for Freedom tells the life stories of southern African leaders who struggled for freedom and justice. In spite of the important roles they played in the history of southern Africa, most of these leaders have been largely ignored by the history books. The series tells their stories in an entertaining manner, in clear language and aims to restore them to their rightful place in history.

Partisans, Antipartisans, and Nonpartisans - Voting Behavior in Brazil (Hardcover): David J. Samuels, Cesar Zucco Partisans, Antipartisans, and Nonpartisans - Voting Behavior in Brazil (Hardcover)
David J. Samuels, Cesar Zucco
R2,013 R1,870 Discovery Miles 18 700 Save R143 (7%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Conventional wisdom suggests that partisanship has little impact on voter behavior in Brazil; what matters most is pork-barreling, incumbent performance, and candidates' charisma. This book shows that soon after redemocratization in the 1980s, over half of Brazilian voters expressed either a strong affinity or antipathy for or against a particular political party. In particular, that the contours of positive and negative partisanship in Brazil have mainly been shaped by how people feel about one party - the Workers' Party (PT). Voter behavior in Brazil has largely been structured around sentiment for or against this one party, and not any of Brazil's many others. The authors show how the PT managed to successfully cultivate widespread partisanship in a difficult environment, and also explain the emergence of anti-PT attitudes. They then reveal how positive and negative partisanship shape voters' attitudes about politics and policy, and how they shape their choices in the ballot booth.

A Fragmented Landscape - Abortion Governance and Protest Logics in Europe (Hardcover): Silvia De Zordo, Joanna Mishtal, Lorena... A Fragmented Landscape - Abortion Governance and Protest Logics in Europe (Hardcover)
Silvia De Zordo, Joanna Mishtal, Lorena Anton
R2,871 R2,562 Discovery Miles 25 620 Save R309 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Since 1945, even as European states have achieved ever-greater levels of economic integration, their social policy landscapes have proven remarkably varied. This is particularly true for contentious issues such as abortion, where different political institutions and social movements have produced a wide range of policy regimes. This volume provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary survey of the struggles over abortion rights. Drawing on national case studies from across the continent, it analyzes the strategies and discourses of groups seeking to liberalize or restrict reproductive rights, from the immediate postwar era to the present era of austerity politics, resurgent nationalism, and mass migration.

Words Whispered in Water - Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina (Paperback): Sandy Rosenthal Words Whispered in Water - Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina (Paperback)
Sandy Rosenthal
R486 R436 Discovery Miles 4 360 Save R50 (10%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

#1 New Release in Civil Engineering & Environmental and Urban Planning and Development The New Orleans Flood, U.S. Corruption, and Other Types of DisastersIn the aftermath of one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, Words Whispered in Water tells the story of one woman's fight-against all odds-to expose a mammoth federal agency-and win. It's a horror story, a mystery, and David and Goliath story all in one. In 2005, the entire world watched as a major U.S. city was nearly wiped off the map. The levees ruptured and New Orleans drowned. But while newscasters attributed the New Orleans flood to "natural catastrophes" and other types of disasters, citizen investigator Sandy Rosenthal set out to expose the true culprit and compel the media and government to tell the truth. This is her story. When the protective steel flood-walls broke, the Army Corps of Engineers-with cooperation from big media-turned the blame on natural types of disasters. In the chaotic aftermath, Rosenthal uncovers the U.S. corruption, and big media at root. Follow this New Orleans hero as she exposes the federal agency's egregious design errors and eventually changes the narrative surrounding the New Orleans flood. In this engaging and revealing tale of man versus nature and man versus man, Words Whispered in Water proves that the power of a single individual is alive and well. If you enjoyed books like The Johnstown Flood, Breach of Faith, or The Great Deluge, then Words Whispered in Water is your next read!

Corbyn Comic Book (Paperback): Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Stephen Collins Corbyn Comic Book (Paperback)
Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Stephen Collins 1
R145 R114 Discovery Miles 1 140 Save R31 (21%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Pollsters called it a foregone conclusion. Columnists said Theresa May's snap general election wouldn't just return her a thumping majority in the House of Commons - it would plunge the opposition into existential crisis. For Labour MPs, concerns about "job security" in an age of zero-hours contracts suddenly felt uncomfortably close to home. And then something happened. Momentum got to work. Grime4Corbyn gathered steam. Clicktivists were transformed into door-knocking, flag-waving activists. Soon, a familiar chant - "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" - was reverberating around football stadiums and venues across the country. All this while Theresa turned Maybot and the Conservatives released a manifesto that looked bad for people and even worse for animals. Featuring work by many of the UK's best-known cartoonists, including Martin Rowson, Steve Bell and Stephen Collins, The Corbyn Comic Book captures the qualities, quirks and flaws of a man whose startling rise to prominence has been the defining story of 2017. He didn't win, but he did cause a political earthquake. Corbynmania is a thing now - and so is Comix4Corbyn.

Critical Theories, IR and 'the Anti-Globalisation Movement' - The Politics of Global Resistance (Paperback):... Critical Theories, IR and 'the Anti-Globalisation Movement' - The Politics of Global Resistance (Paperback)
Catherine Eschle, Bice Maiguashca
R1,054 Discovery Miles 10 540 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This book provides a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of the 'anti-globalisation' struggles taking place in many different parts of the world. It shows the complexity and diversity of these movements and illustrates this with a number of detailed empirical studies of local, national and transnational resistance in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. The book also introduces a variety of competing theoretical perspectives from international political economy, social movement theory, globalisation studies, feminism and postmodernism. The contributors delineate how activism has influenced theory and how theory can help activists to modify their tactics. The global protest movement has made a huge impact on world politics and this book is essential reading for students, scholars and activists with an interest in this area.

Resist Everything Except Temptation - The Anarchist Philosophy of Oscar Wilde (Paperback, Annotated edition): Kristian Williams Resist Everything Except Temptation - The Anarchist Philosophy of Oscar Wilde (Paperback, Annotated edition)
Kristian Williams; Foreword by Alan Moore
R427 R349 Discovery Miles 3 490 Save R78 (18%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
The Finance Curse - How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer (Paperback): Nicholas Shaxson The Finance Curse - How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer (Paperback)
Nicholas Shaxson 1
R230 R184 Discovery Miles 1 840 Save R46 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

This is a book that none of us can afford to ignore – an agenda-setting, campaigning investigation that shows how global finance works for the few and not the many.

** A Financial Times Book of the Year **

‘Essential reading’ YANIS VAROUFAKIS

We need finance – but when finance grows too big it becomes a curse.

The City of London is the single biggest drain on our resources, sucking talent out of every sphere, siphoning wealth and hoovering up government time. Yet to be ‘competitive’, we’re told we must turn a blind eye to money laundering and appease big business with tax cuts.

Tracing the curse back through economic history, Nicholas Shaxson uncovers how we got to this point. Moving from offshore tax havens to the bizarre industry of wealth management, he tells the explosive story of how finance established a stranglehold on society – and reveals how we can begin to break free.

Find the Helpers - What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope (Hardcover): Fred Guttenberg Find the Helpers - What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope (Hardcover)
Fred Guttenberg; Foreword by Bradley Whitford
R462 R374 Discovery Miles 3 740 Save R88 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

#1 Bestseller in School Safety Overcoming Grief Through the Humanity of OthersFred Guttenberg loved watching Mr. Rogers with his daughter and his son when they were little. Their favorite piece of wisdom was: In the midst of tragedy and catastrophe, find the helpers. "Always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers. Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know there's hope." -Fred Rogers, interview with Television Academy, 1999 Life changed forever on Valentine's Day 2018. What was to be a family day celebrating love turned into a nightmare. Thirty-four people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Jaime Guttenberg, a fourteen-year-old with a huge heart, was the second to last victim. That she and so many of her fellow students were struck down in cold blood galvanized many to action, including Jaime's father Fred who has become an activist dedicated to passing common sense gun safety legislation. Fred was already struggling with deep personal loss. Four months earlier his brother Michael died of 9/11 induced pancreatic cancer. He had been exposed to so much dust and chemicals at Ground Zero, the damage caught up with him. Michael battled heroically for nearly five years and then died at age fifty. This book is not about gun safety or Parkland. Instead, Find the Helpers tells the story of Fred Guttenberg's journey since Jaime's death and how he has been able to get through the worst of times thanks to the kindness and compassion of others. Good things happen to good people at the hands of other good people and the world is filled with them. They include everyone from amazing gun violence survivors Fred has met around the country to former VP Joe Biden, who spent time talking to him about finding mission and purpose in learning to grieve. If you have read books such as Eyes to the Wind, Haben, The Beauty in Breaking, The Book of Rosy, or We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders, then you'll love Find the Helpers.

Exploring Degrowth - A Critical Guide (Paperback): Vincent Liegey, Anitra Nelson Exploring Degrowth - A Critical Guide (Paperback)
Vincent Liegey, Anitra Nelson; Foreword by Jason Hickel
R476 Discovery Miles 4 760 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A sense of urgency pervades global environmentalism, and the degrowth movement is bursting into the mainstream. As climate catastrophe looms closer, people are eager to learn what degrowth is about, and whether we can save the planet by changing how we live. This book is an introduction to the movement. As politicians and corporations obsess over growth objectives, the degrowth movement demands that we must slow down the economy by transforming our economies, our politics and our cultures to live within the Earth's limits. This book navigates the practice and strategies of the movement, looking at its strengths and weaknesses. Covering horizontal democracy, local economies and the reduction of work, it shows us why degrowth is a compelling and realistic project.

Eyes to the Wind - A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance (Hardcover): Ady Barkan Eyes to the Wind - A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance (Hardcover)
Ady Barkan; Foreword by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
R634 R504 Discovery Miles 5 040 Save R130 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
They Fought for Freedom: Oliver Tambo: Grade 10 - 12 (Paperback, illustrated edition): C. van Wyk They Fought for Freedom: Oliver Tambo: Grade 10 - 12 (Paperback, illustrated edition)
C. van Wyk; Edited by John Pampallis
R142 R120 Discovery Miles 1 200 Save R22 (15%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

In the 1940s, the ANC's Youth League transformed the organisation into a defiant, mass-based force that fought for freedom. Oliver Tambo was a prominent member of that Youth League, but his most important role was still to come. In 1960, the South African Government banned the ANC. Tambo was appointed to continue the ANC's fight - from outside the country. During this time, he helped strengthen the ANC's organisation and assisted in establishing underground structures inside the country. He brought the struggle for liberation in South Africa to the attention of the rest of the world and, in doing so, won the admiration and the support of all those with whom he made contact. Thirty years later, Tambo returned to his motherland and handed the ANC back to the people, intact and triumphant. They Fought for Freedom tells the life stories of southern African leaders who struggled for freedom and justice. In spite of the important roles they played in the history of southern Africa, most of these leaders have been largely ignored by the history books. The series tells their stories in an entertaining manner, in clear language and aims to restore them to their rightful place in history.

When The Clyde Ran Red - A Social History of Red Clydeside (Paperback, Reprint): Maggie Craig When The Clyde Ran Red - A Social History of Red Clydeside (Paperback, Reprint)
Maggie Craig
R287 R219 Discovery Miles 2 190 Save R68 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

When the Clyde Ran Red paints a vivid picture of the heady days when revolution was in the air on Clydeside. Through the bitter strike at the huge Singer Sewing machine plant in Clydebank in 1911, Bloody Friday in Glasgow's George Square in 1919, the General Strike of 1926 and on through the Spanish Civil War to the Clydebank Blitz of 1941, the people fought for the right to work, the dignity of labour and a fairer society for everyone. They did so in a Glasgow where overcrowded tenements stood no distance from elegant tea rooms, art galleries, glittering picture palaces and dance halls. Red Clydeside was also home to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Glasgow Style and magnificent exhibitions showcasing the wonders of the age. Political idealism and artistic creativity were matched by industrial endeavor: the Clyde built many of the greatest ships that ever sailed, and Glasgow locomotives pulled trains on every continent on earth. In this book Maggie Craig puts the politics into the social context of the times and tells the story with verve, warmth and humour.

In A Different Time - The Inside Story Of The Delmas Four (Paperback): Peter Harris In A Different Time - The Inside Story Of The Delmas Four (Paperback)
Peter Harris; Edited by F. De Jager 1
R240 R192 Discovery Miles 1 920 Save R48 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

It is the final years of Nationalist rule, and four ANC cadres steal across the border into South Africa. They left as students after the Soweto riots of June 1976; now they return as soldiers, a specialist unit reporting to Chris Hani. Their mission: to carry out acts of war in the country of their birth.

On the other side, a police hit squad operates in deepest secrecy, relentless, and a dark conspiracy unfolds. When the four are eventually captured, they face the ultimate penalty.

Narrated by their lawyer as the trial progresses, this compelling true story is an insider's account of one of the most dramatic political court cases of the previous era. A tale of men driven to extremes for an ideal. Of people with unwavering commitment to their cause; and of a mother who never loses hope.

Finding Freedom - Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family (MP3 format, CD): Omid Scobie Finding Freedom - Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family (MP3 format, CD)
Omid Scobie; Carolyn Durand
R907 R645 Discovery Miles 6 450 Save R262 (29%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
South Africa's Suspended Revolution - Hopes And Prospects (Paperback): Adam Habib South Africa's Suspended Revolution - Hopes And Prospects (Paperback)
Adam Habib
R352 R291 Discovery Miles 2 910 Save R61 (17%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

South Africa’s Suspended Revolution engages with the country’s transition into democracy and its prospects for inclusive development. It is an antidote to many descriptive and voluntarist explanations in which leaders and other actors are treated as unfettered agents whose choices and behaviour are merely the result of their own abilities or follies. In contrast, Adam Habib explains the story of how South Africa arrived at this point by locating these actors in context. He tries to understand the institutional constraints within which they operated, why they made the choices they did, and what the consequences are. The book also explores what other policy options and behavioural choices may have been available, and why these were forsaken for the ones that were eventually adopted.

In essence, the book is about how South Africa got to its present state of affairs, what the country’s current challenges are, and how these could be transcended. It is deeply historical in the sense of understanding what possibilities may have existed in one moment, but not another. The narrative recognises that societies evolve and as a result the potential for political and socioeconomic advances themselves change.

This then is a story of the dynamic interplay between actors and context, how the latter can constrain and condition the former, but also how individuals and institutions can, with imagination, act against the grain of their location and historical moment, thereby transforming the possibilities and, through them, society itself.

Adam Habib is Vice-chancellor and Principal of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has held academic appointments at the University of Durban-Westville, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (where he was founding director of the Centre for Civil Society), the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council. Habib is widely recognised as one of the more authoritative commentators on South Africa’s democracy and its prospects for inclusive development.

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