Marginalisation in Southern Africa : perceptions of and reactions to state regimes

Leysens, Anthony J.(Anthony Jan) (2002)

Thesis (PhD) -- Stellenbosch University, 2002.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During the last two decades of the twentieth century, the world economic order has passed through a transformation which can be characterised as a shift away from the idea of the "Keynesian compromise" to the idea or principle of greater openness and a revision of the role of the state in macroeconomic policy formulation. As a result, and to achieve the goal of global competitiveness, states have become more "outward" orientated. The last twenty years have also seen an increase in the levels of inequality within and between states, which means that the effect of economic growth on the reduction of poverty is much reduced. Critics of the "openness" principle point out that the policies of developing states should be more inwardly focused to ensure that economic openness contributes more directly to the alleviation of poverty and inequality. Southern Africa is a region where the problem of inequality (particularly within states) is prevalent. The Critical Theory ofRobert W Cox (CCT) suggests that one of the ways in which increasing levels in inequality can be observed and analysed is to determine how people are related to the dynamics (via their national economies) of the contemporary world economic order. Are they marginalised, in a precarious position, or integrated? Furthermore, Cox assumes that the marginalised are a social force which could bring about transformation "from below." Following on from this assumption a number of claims about the marginalised can be deduced from CCT: they are inclined to political protest, they are dissatisfied with the political economic system of their country, they are politically apathetic, they are prone to low levels of political efficacy, they have turned "their back on the state" and belong to self-help associations, they are more inclined to participate in the activities of civil society and they are critical of neoliberal economic policies. The study's primary empirical question investigates whether the attitudes which Cox attributes to the marginalised are accurate. This is done through a detailed exposition of his core theoretical framework and a thorough conceptualisationloperationalisation of the marginalised, precarious and integrated. The area which is focused on is southern Africa. The vast majority of people in the region belong to the marginalised and the precarious components of Cox's economic hierarchy. They derive little or no economic benefit from greater openness and outward orientated forms of state. The question is whether they can be mobilised into a "counter-hegemonic social movement" (as Cox foresees) and how they view the role of the state. The second question is theoretical and is concerned with the usefulness and strong points of Cox's explanatory framework compared to other approaches which either (1) ignore the state as a point of entry for analysis, (2) regard it as the primary actor in the international system, (3) or "bypass" it because they predict its demise in a future post-sovereign world. I argue that it is incorrect to associate Cox's approach with the work of Richard Ashley, Mark Hoffman, Andrew Linklater and Mark Neufeld and to group them into a Critical Theory of International Relations school. Two important differences between Cox and these scholars are his incorporation of the state in a flexible, multiple points of entry framework and his resourceful combination of a diverse number of sources. The theoretical question is addressed by a substantive literature review of Cox's major publications in English and a representative review of the contributions made by Ashley, Hoffman, Linklater and Neufeld. In the reading of Cox's work, I focused on the development of his thinking, his major influences and on the epistemology and ontology of his core theoretical framework. The empirical question was investigated through a nationally representative survey of seven southern African states (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) which was undertaken by a research consortium of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa's Public Opinion Service during 1999-2000. In terms of Cox's theoretical expectations ofthe marginalised the study found that, in southern Africa; their political protest potential is lower than the integrated, they participate less in politics and in civil society, they are not more inclined to belong to self-help associations, they are inclined to accord slightly more legitimacy to the state than the integrated, their economic values cannot be summarised as generally unsympathetic to "market" orientated policies, and that the majority (significantly more so than the integrated) think that the state should be the major provider of social services. The marginalised are more tolerant of authoritarian political alternatives, but are not significantly more dissatisfied (relatively) with the economy than the other groups. We cannot, therefore, uncritically accept Cox's assumption that the marginalised will act as a potential source of transformation "from below." Furthermore, in the countries which were part of the survey, the marginalised still regard the state as the primary source for development assistance and social services. There was, however, strong support for the claim that the marginalised are inclined to be more politically apathetic and less politically efficacious. A close reading of Cox's work and comparison with Ashley, Linklater, Hoffman and Neufeld revealed that they share some tenets with CCT. However, they cannot be grouped with Cox in a school of critical thought because their intellectual debt is mainly located in the work of Habermas and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, while CCT is influenced by a variety of sources (cf. Braudel, Carr, Gramsci, Khaldun, Marx, Sorel and Vico). This is an important and essential distinction to make because the empirical results of the survey data analysis validate Cox's focus on the mutual influence between social forces, forms of state and world orders. It is, therefore, more accurate to regard CCT as a "critical realist" theory of International Relations (cf. Richard Falk, 1997). It is recommended that, in a world order which is characterised by increasing inequality and the outward orientated form of state, public policy practitioners in developing states must reconsider the standard TINA (There is no Alternative) response to the critics of the openness principle. A more balanced approach to addressing inequality and poverty, which requires an outward/inward policy orientation is essential. What is needed, is a form of state which creates opportunities for the integrated but protects and assists those who are marginalised. This essential inward orientation remains one of the state's primary responsibilities, even in a postW estphalian world where there are other centres of authority.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tydens die laatste twee dekades van die twintigste eeu het die wereld ekonomiese orde deur 'n verandering gegaan. Hierdie verandering is gekenmerk deur 'n verskuiwing vanaf die "Keynesiaanse kompromie" idee, na die idee of beginsel van meer oopheid en 'n hersiening van die rol van die staat in makroekonomiese beleidsformulering. Gevolglik, en om die doelwit van globale mededingendheid te bereik, het state meer "uitwaartsgeorienteerd" geword. Die laatste twintig jaar is ook gekenmerk deur 'n toename in ongelykheid binne en tussen state. Hierdie ongelykheid het die impak van ekonomiese groei op armoede baie verminder. Die kritici van die "oopheid" beginsel wys daarop dat die beleid van ontwikkelende state meer na binne gerig moet word ten einde te verseker dat ekonomiese oopheid meer direk hydra tot die vermindering van armoede en ongelykheid. In die Suider-Afrikaanse streek kom die ongelykheidsprobleem (spesifiek binne state) algemeen voor. Die Kritiese Teorie van Robert W Cox (CKT, Coxiaanse Kritiese Teorie) doen aan die hand dat een van die maniere waarvolgens toenemende vlakke van ongelykheid waargeneem en geanaliseer kan word, is om te bepaal wat die verhouding is tussen mense en die dinamika (via die nasionale ekonomie) van die hedendaagse wereld ekonomiese orde. Is hulle gemarginaliseerd, in 'n onsekere posisie, of gei'ntegreerd? Daarby, is dit 'n aanname van Cox dat die gemarginaliseerdes 'n sosiale mag is wat "van onder af' verandering sou kon teweegbring. Voortvloeiend uit hierdie aanname, kan 'n aantal beweringe oor die gemarginaliseerdes afgelei word uit CKT: hulle is geneig tot politieke protes, hulle is ontevrede met hulland se politiek-ekonomiese stelsel, hulle is polities apaties, hulle is geneig tot lae vlakke van politieke doeltreffendheid, hulle het hul "rug gedraai op die staat" en behoort aan selfhelp-organisasies, hulle is meer geneig om deel te neem aan burgerlike samelewing aktiwiteite en hulle staan krities teenoor neoliberale ekonomiese beleidsrigtings. Die primere empiriese vraag wat die studie ondersoek is om te bepaal of die houdings wat Cox toeskryf aan die gemarginaliseerdes akkuraat is. Dit word gedoen deur 'n breedvoerige uiteensetting van sy verklarende raamwerk en 'n deeglike konseptualisering/operasionalisering van die drie ekonomiese kategoriee (gemarginaliseerd, onseker, gei'ntegreerd). Die fokus-area is Suider-Afrika. Die oorgrote meerderheid mense in die streek behoort tot die gemarginaliseerde en onsekere komponente van Cox se ekonomiese hierargie. Hulle trek min of geen ekonomiese voordeel uit meer "oopheid" en uitwaartsgeorienteerde staatsvorme nie. Die vraag is of hulle gemobiliseer kan word in 'n "teen-hegemoniese sosiale beweging" (soo Cox in die vooruitsig stel) en hoe hulle die rol van die staat beskou. Die tweede vraag is teoreties van aard en is gerig op 'n evaluering van die bruikbaarheid en sterk punte van Cox se verklarende raamwerk, in vergelyking met ander benaderings wat of (1) die staat ignoreer as 'n vlak van analise, (2) die staat beskou as die belangrikste akteur in die intemasionale stelsel, (3) die staat "omseil" omdat hulle die ondergang daarvan voorspel in 'n toekomstige post-soewereine wereld. Ek argumenteer dat dit verkeerd is om Cox se benadering te assosieer met die bydraes van Richard Ashley, Mark Hoffman, Andrew Linklater en Mark Neufeld, en om hulle saam te voeg binne 'n Kritiese Teorie van Intemasionale Betrekkinge denkskool. Twee belangrike verskille tussen Cox en die ander bydraes is sy inkorporering van die staat in 'n buigsame, veelvoudige vlak-van-analise raamwerk en sy vindingryke samevoeging van 'n diverse aantal bronne. Die teoretiese vraag is ondersoek deur middel van 'n uitgebreide literatuuroorsig van Cox se belangrikste publikasies in Engels en 'n verteenwoordigende oorsig van Ashley, Hoffman, Linklater en Neufeld se bydraes. Die evaluering van Cox fokus op die ontwikkeling van sy denke, die identifisering van diegene wat horn beYnvloed het, en die kennisleer en ontologie van sy kem-teoretiese raamwerk. Die empiriese vraag is nagevors deur die analise van 'n verteenwoordigende nasionale opname in sewe Suider-Afrikaanse state (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibie, Suid-Afrika, Zambie en Zimbabwe). Die opname is ondemeem deur 'n navorsingkonsortium van die Instituut vir Demokrasie in Suid-Afrika se Openbare Meningsdiens tydens 1999-2000. Aangaande Cox se teoretiese verwagtinge van die gemarginaliseerdes, het die empiriese analise van die Suider-Afrikaanse data-stel bevind dat hulle politieke protes potensiaal laer is as die van die geYntegreerdes, dat hulle minder deelneem aan die politiek en 'n minder aktiewe rol speel in die burgerlike samelewing, dat hulle nie geneig is om aan selfhelp-organisasies te behoort nie, dat hulle geneig is om die staat as ietwat meer legitiem te beskou as die geYntegreerdes, dat hulle ekonomiese waardes nie veralgemeen kan word as onsimpatiek tot mark-georienteerde beleidsopsies nie, en dat die meerderheid (betekenisvol meer as die geYntegreerdes) die staat beskou as die belangrikste verskaffer van sosiale dienste. Die gemarginaliseerdes is meer verdraagsaam ten opsigte van outoritere politieke altematiewe, maar is nie betekenisvol meer ontevrede (relatief gesproke) met die ekonomie as die ander groepe me. Ons kan dus nie Cox se aanname, dat die gemarginaliseerdes as 'n moontlike bron vir verandering "van onder af' sal optree, onkrities aanvaar nie. Daarby beskou die gemarginaliseerdes, in die lande wat deel was van die opname, steeds die staat as die primere bron vir ontwikkelingshulp en sosiale dienste. Daar was egter beduidende ondersteuning vir die bewering dat hulle meer geneig is tot politieke apatie en politieke ondoeltreffendheid. Die bestudering van Cox se benadering en die vergelyking daarvan met Ashley, Linklater, Hoffman en Neufeld, toon aan dat die vier skrywers sekere beginsels met CKT deel. Nietemin, kan hulle nie saam met Cox in 'n skool van kritiese denke gevoeg word nie, omdat hulle intellektuele inspirasie uit Habermas en die Frankfurt Skool van Kritiese Teorie geput word. Cox, daarenteen, is beYnvloed deur 'n verskeidenheid denkers (bv. Braudel, Carr, Gramsci, Khaldun, Marx, Sorel, en Vico). Hierdie onderskeid is belangrik en noodsaaklik omdat die empiriese resultate van die opname data-analise, Cox se fokus op die wedersydse invloed tussen sosiale magte, staatsvorme en wereldordes, ondersteun. Dit is dus meer korrek om CKT te beskou as 'n "krities-realistiese" teorie van Intemasionale Betrekkinge (bv. Richard Falk, 1997). Die studie beveel aan dat, in 'n wereld wat gekenmerk word deur toenemende ongelykheid en die voorkoms van die uitwaarts-georienteerde staat, openbare beleidmakers die standaard DIGA (Daar is geen Altematief) antwoord, in reaksie op diegene wat die "oopheid" beginsel kritiseer, in heroorweging moet neem. 'n Meer ewewigtige benadering tot die aanspreek van ongelykheid en armoede is noodsaaklik, en dit vereis 'n uitwaartslbinnewaartse beleidsherorientering. Wat benodig word is 'n staatsvorm wat geleenthede skep vir die ge'integreerdes maar wat ook die gemarginaliseerdes help en beskerm. Selfs in 'n post-W estphaliaanse wereld waar daar ander magsentra voorkom, bly hierdie noodsaaklike binnewaartse orientasie een van die staat se primere verantwoordelikhede.

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