n Journal of Public Administration - Why the past matters : studying public administration in South Africa

Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The state of the public sector in South Africa is heavily influenced by particular histories of state administration related to the legacy of apartheid and the nature of the political transition to democracy. We suggest, however, that there is a paucity of scholarly work in the discipline of Public Administration which takes into account this legacy and the manner in which the public sector is embedded in broader social, political and economic relations. This has had significant consequences for the particular models of public administration adopted. In making our case for the importance of applying a historical lens to the study of the public sector, we draw on research on the incorporation of the former Bantustans into provincial government administration in South Africa.

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