oa South African Journal of Higher Education - Spectacle and spectators : higher education and the 'disappearance' of democracy : Part 1 : exploration of the critical relationship between higher education and the development of democracy in South Africa

Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



In the absence of deep knowledge transformation and in the format of its responses to societal challenges and state politics, higher education plays a part in positioning the state as the 'unifying horizon for all political representation' (Readings 1993, xx). In South Africa, a 'designed' human rights state and the process by which the state becomes the 'end of politics' was completed in less than 20 years after the 1994 democratic elections. Higher education, along with popular images, presents the state as the 'terminal point for political thought' (Readings 1993, xx) and is thus complicit in the absence of an authoritative politics outside the state. Using theoretical frames related to (Debord 1994 [1967]) and , this article argues that higher education contributes to the .

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