Journal for Contemporary History - Volume 40, Issue 2, 2015
Volume 40, Issue 2, 2015
The Johannesburg stock exchange (JSE) returns, political development and economic forces : a historical perspectiveSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 1 –24 (2015)More Less
To contribute to economic growth and development a stock market, as a leading economic indicator, should reflect the macroeconomic fundamentals of a country. The reflection of political and economic development in the returns of companies listed on a stock market indicates the risk profile of specific companies and the stock exchange. The objective of this article is to provide a historical perspective on how political and economic developments have been reflected in the returns of the JSE. The history of the JSE was divided into the following broad time periods of roughly similar economic and political developments : 1887-World War II; World War II-1960; and 1960-1990/94. The study concluded that the JSE reflected dramatic macroeconomic conditions, policy changes and political events.
Author Renee HorneSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 25 –47 (2015)More Less
This article examines the impact of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment's (B-BBEE) ownership element as a catalyst to labour unrest within the mining sector. The research shows that the B-BBEE policy has made limited inroads into the socio-economic disparities of mineworkers and their respective communities. However, since the new democratic dispensation in 1994, the policy has advantaged a selected few wealthy black South Africans. As a result of apartheid's legacy, which disenfranchised the majority of South Africans, the emphasis of B-BBEE was on socio-economic development and enfranchising black South Africans to own or manage mines. Currently, the mining sector is one of the largest Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) contributors of the transfer of ownership from white to black stakeholders. The ownership deals, estimated at R200 billion, have benefited a select few black elite, but has not filtered down to the majority of mineworkers, who earn an estimated R4 000 per month. Consequently, this has led to the recurrence of labour unrest within the mining sector. With the use of exclusive interviews with cabinet ministers, BEE consortia, trade unions and mining companies triangulated with B-BBEE data and reports, the article provides one of the first analyses on the relationship between B-BBEE, in relation to black ownership, and labour unrest in the mining sector.
South Africa in the international arms trade network (ATN) during national party rule (1948-1994) : a network analysisSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 48 –70 (2015)More Less
South Africa is renowned for its arms industry, which was established under apartheid to counter external threats during the Cold War, increasing internal threats from the black majority, and internationally imposed arms embargoes. The country's arms industry developed numerous novel and technologically advanced weapons systems, and the war in Angola meant that these weapons systems were proven in combat. While trade with the rest of the world became increasingly difficult as subsequent embargoes were imposed, the country's perpetual conflicts demanded the import of weapons in any way possible, while the combat-proven nature of South African weapons systems allowed the country to export tried-and-tested weapons systems as well (at least until the late 1980s). This article uses network theory to investigate South Africa's role in the global Arms Trade Network (ATN) from 1948 to 1994, and discusses South Africa's overall role and trading partners. It is shown that, in terms of the trade relations in the ATN, South Africa was a central role player throughout the apartheid years, and that its role changed from importer to exporter in the later years.
The clausewitzian trinity : reassessing the South African military's relationship with its polity and societySource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 71 –95 (2015)More Less
This article provides an historic-theoretical understanding of civil-military relations in South Africa and an outline of important influences on South African civil-military relations at present. Historically, a well-developed professional officer corps shaped South African civil-military relations. Africa's post-independence history, though, is full of examples indicating that neglect of the military often translates into domestic risk and a dwindling of military professionalism. Post-apartheid South Africa seems to emulate this example. The South African military may be in the barracks at present. However, there are clear indications that, in the longer term, the military risks promotion of elite interests, patronage and uncompetitive practices rooted in a single political party. This tendency is rooted in a general decline of military professionalism due to factors such as a declining defence budget, obsolete military technologies, a diminishing role of Parliament in overseeing the military function, the nature of operations and institutional factors such as a distorted professional self-image of military personnel.
Author Henning MelberSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 96 –109 (2015)More Less
This essay explores commonalities in the faith and political spirituality of Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) and Beyers Naudé (1915-2004) on occasion of the hundredth birthday of "Oom Bey", as Beyers Naudé was called by those who knew him well. It presents the theology of Naudé and the spiritual dimensions of Hammarskjöld in the context of political engagement taking forms of empathy and commitment towards social justice and respect for otherness. Using their statements, it shows the parallels in their thinking, which understood faith as politics and, at the same time, politics as a matter of faith. Thereby, this essay suggests that, despite their different roles as pastor in South Africa and as Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) during the times of decolonization on the African continent respectively, both converged to a large extent in the values motivating their active roles played also in the political arena of their times.
Political naturalism and the French "Nouvelle Droite" : reflections on politocratic communitarianism in contemporary Afrikaans political literatureAuthor Andries RaathSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 110 –132 (2015)More Less
An increasing lack of confidence over the last couple of years in government's will and ability to govern South African political society has stimulated Afrikaans publications on the notion of community in general, and political community in particular. The publication, Politokrasie. 'n Peiling van die dwanglogika van die territoriale staat en gedagtes vir 'n antwoord daarop (2011), focuses on the issue of political community in particular. In this work, Koos Malan envisages a political enclave in the form of the Aristotelian idea of the Greek city-state as an alternative to the "territorial state"; it is envisaged to be a small, natural entity governed by a small elite. In this essay the roots of the politocratic community envisaged by Malan are traced to the legacy of Ferdinand Tönnies and its further development by the French New Rightist author, Alain de Benoist. This contribution is a critical reflection of the political naturalism of the French "Nouvelle Droite" and its manifestations in Malan's politocratic communitarianism. It is hoped that this contribution will stimulate debate on the issues emanating from Malan's publication.
Author Christopher AllsobrookSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 133 –155 (2015)More Less
The following article responds to a realist critique of ideal theory in the "official" liberal democratic account of civil disobedience classically offered by John Rawls. The shortcomings the critical theorist, Robin Celikates (2014:236), identifies in Rawls's account follow, "at least, in part, from treating ideal theory as an independent starting point and working towards a definition of this decidedly non-ideal political practice from there". The research aims, firstly, to identify and to explain a significant weakness in "new realist" political theory, and, secondly, to offer direction from our recent historical past to contemporary struggles for social justice in South Africa today, which suffer from such weakness in practice. The Freedom Charter is identified as the embodiment of a set of ethical ideals which exceeds but which may complement Tully's approach... Mainstream historical sources are used, firstly, to identify a serious shortcoming with a dominant approach in political theory, and, secondly, to identify a significant factor that frustrates the effectiveness of "service delivery" protests today.
Author Clive J. NapierSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 156 –175 (2015)More Less
With the advent of inclusive multiparty elections and democracy in South Africa and many parts of Africa and beyond in the 1990s, the need for cooperation between political parties and electoral management bodies has become important in order to avoid conflict situations from flaring up and to underpin legitimate and credible election outcomes. In South Africa structures such as the Party Liaison Committee (PLC), have been introduced during the early 1990s as a measure to resolve issues that have the potential for conflict. This article aims to describe the theoretical, legal and political environment that impacted on the evolution of the South African political party liaison committee system. It refers to the functions of the PLC and relates instances where the potential for conflict has been reduced during recent election periods. To illustrate the successes achieved, examples are referred to. The article ends with a reference to some of the strengths and weaknesses of the PLC and reaches a positive conclusion as to the success and future of the PLC.
Author Hussein SolomonSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 176 –196 (2015)More Less
This article examines how a moderate Sufi Islam in Africa has increasingly become sidelined by more radical interpretations of the Qur'an. The latter has been termed Islamism and is closely aligned to the concept of Political Islam. The rise of Islamism is the result of a number of external and internal factors. External factors include the rise of Arabism and the role of Gulf charities operating in Africa, whilst internal factors include the illegitimate nature of the African state and the fact that Sufi leaders have developed too close ties with often corrupt politicians. Arguments put forth in the article include that the Islamist tide can be turned if pressure is brought to bear on the Gulf states to desist from supporting radical Islamists on the continent, that more needs to be done to pressurize African governments to be more responsive to their citizens' needs and, finally, it argues for a Sufi Islam which is more critical of Africa's political leadership.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 197 –219 (2015)More Less
While there has been growing analysis of Pan-Africa agency on the international stage, there has been less consideration given to the interactions between states on the continent and how these engagements have been central in the development of Africa's governance architecture, and are key to their ongoing implementation. In this article, which adopts a source-based, textual and analytical approach,the analysis assesses the role of inter-continental agency and the development of a "new" Afro-continentalism,a modernistic Pan-Africanism, which has increasingly come to the fore. This "new" Afro-continentalism is marked by a governance policy revolution negotiated in Africa, articulating new norms, principles, values, mechanisms and structures, which are fundamentally different from the ones that prevailed during the era of liberation. It is different, because continental leaders are breaking with the paradigm of "non-interference" in each other's affairs, and are embracing new values and norms, which had started by the end of the Cold War and accelerated in 1999 with the OAU's summit in Sirte, Libya. This approach places issues of development, governance, democratisation, economic growth and peace and security firmly on the continental agenda. The analysis concludes that, while there has been some progress in inter-African diplomacy in negotiating the new post-Cold War governance frameworks, there remain challenges in their implementation and operationalization, with questions on whether African states show enough inter-continental agency and ownership to appropriate the new agenda.