Strategies for South Africa's ascent in the modern world-system

Ferendinos, Michael Gerry (2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Strategies for South Africa’s development are often analysed from a predominantly economic perspective, overlooking the key role that political and sociocultural elements play in the developmental process. This study will assess possible development strategies by making use of the modern world-systems (MWS) theoretical perspective, due to the theory’s holistic approach to development. The question is posed whether South Africa – in accordance with the MWS perspective – will be able to ascend from its current semi-peripheral position in the hierarchy of the modern world-system to the core group of states by 2025. The components for national development are all-encompassing and require an increase in state strength, long-term economic development, and domestic and international sociocultural influence. Prospects for South Africa’s ascent to the core have been explored within a 15-20 year time period because the capitalist world-economy is currently still in a phase of contraction, or B-phase of growth (1973-2025). The modern world-systems theoretical approach asserts that country mobility is more likely during this phase and that ascent in the hierarchy will be increasingly difficult when the world-economy begins its expansionary phase around 2025. The study concludes that South Africa faces numerous external and internal constraints to its development, despite the noteworthy economic, political and sociocultural incentives that it could potentially capitalise on over the next fifteen years. It is anticipated that these constraints will place the country in a position whereby it will be unable to reap the benefits of the most optimal developmental strategies put forward by the modern world-systems approach; hence it will be severely challenged to attain core status by 2025.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Strategieë vir die ontwikkeling van Suid-Afrika word meerendeels geanaliseer vanuit ‘n hoofsaaklike ekonomiese invalshoek en dit het tot gevolg dat die rol wat politieke en sosio-kulturele aspekte in die ontwikkelingsproses speel nie op ag geslaan word nie. Die studie evalueer moontlike ontwikkelings-strategieë vir Suid-Afrika deur gebruik te maak van die moderne wêreld-sisteem teoretiese benadering (MWS) wat ‘n meer holistiese perspektief op ontwikkeling bied. Die vraag word gevra of Suid- Afrika – in ooreenstemming met die uitganspunte van MWS - teen 2025 sal kan vorder tot die kategorie van “kern-staat”, vanaf sy huidige status as “semi-periferale staat”. Die allesomvattende komponente vir ontwikkeling wat MWS identifiseer vereis die groei van staatskapasiteit, langtermyn ekonomiese ontwikkeling, en die uitbreiding van regionale en internasionale sosio-kulturele invloed. Die vooruitsigte vir Suid-Afrika se opgang is nagevors oor die verloop van ‘n 15-20 jaar tydperk, aangesien die kapitalistiese wêreld-ekonomie tans in ‘n fase van kontraksie verkeer (B-fase van groei) tussen 1973-2025. Die MWS benadering argumenteer dat opwaartse mobiliteit van state meer waarskynlik is tydens ‘n B-fase van groei en dat opgang moeiliker sal word wanneer die wêreld-ekonomie weer ‘n ekspansionistiese fase van groei betree in 2025. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat Suid-Afrika se ontwikkelings-uitdagings deur beide eksterne en interne faktore bemoeilik word, nieteenstaande moontlike sterkpunte op ekonomiese, politieke en sosio-kulturele gebied waarop dit sou kon kapitaliseer oor die volgende 15 jaar. Hierdie faktore, word geargumenteer, sal veroorsaak dat die optimale ontwikkelingstrategieë wat deur ander state gevolg is, nie deur Suid-Afrika nagevolg sal kan word nie, en dat gevolglik, sonder innoverende strategieë, die kanse dat die land kern-status teen 2025 sal bereik, gering is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19971
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