n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Politocracy : An Assessment of the Coercive Logic of the Territorial State and Ideas around a Response to it, Koos Malan; Johan Scott (transl.) : book review

Volume 2014, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



by Koos Malan, initially written in Afrikaans, was originally accepted as a doctoral thesis by the University of South Africa and then adjusted and extended. To put it in a nutshell, for the author politocracy is a sort of utopia of "an [allegedly] attractive space beyond the straits of the territorial state", "a legal-political order", which - according to the author - embodies "true democracy" (10). This utopia is sharply opposed to the traditional national state and its philosophy, statism. It can certainly be best understood against the background of the political situation in South Africa after 1994, when Afrikaners - and among them the author - suddenly found themselves in an acute minority situation. As a result, abandonment by the national (or territorial) state now ruled by the black majority - more precisely by one political party and the concomitant abuses of power - and the steering towards alternative commonwealths are explicable. Whether Malan's sketch, however, would represent a real improvement for the people concerned is not to be taken for granted.

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