Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Liela Groenewald – This study explores local state constructions of citizenship for the residents of informal settlements in urban South Africa during the first decade of local democracy, with a focus on the last electoral term of this period. While many studies in the social sciences have reported on citizenship experiences and self-help strategies of various categories of residents of post-apartheid South Africa, few have directed their gaze at the state, or studied up by investigating powerful respondents or sites and processes of power. Given that the state has its most direct dealings with the grassroots at local government level, and that compared to ordinary people it holds a disproportionate amount of power over citizenship, the character and strategies of the local state in South Africa are critical for a comprehensive understanding of post-apartheid urban citizenship. The study focuses on the policy area of housing as a key response to informal settlement.
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