Democratising Development

The Politics of Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa


What are the prospects and means of achieving development through a democratic politics of socio-economic rights? Starting from the position that socio-economic rights are as legally and normatively valid as civil and political rights, this anthology explores the politics of acquiring and transforming socio-economic rights in South Africa. The book brings together an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars in an examination of the multifaceted politics of social and economic policy-making, rights-based political struggles and socio-economic rights litigations. The post-apartheid South African experience shows that there is no guarantee that democracy will eliminate poverty or reduce social inequality, but also that democratic institutions and politics may provide important means for asserting interests and rights in regard to development. Thus it is argued that democratic politics of socio-economic rights may democratise development while also developing democracy.

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Peris Jones is a Research Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. Kristian Stokke is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Oslo.
Preface, 1. Introduction, Democratising Development: The Politics of Socio-Economic Rights, Peris Jones and Kristian Stokke, 2. The Politics of Economic Policy-Making: Substantive Uncertainty, Political Leverage, and Human Development, Adam Habib, 3. Labour and Politics in South Africa, Liv Tørres, 4. Social Movements in Post-Apartheid South Africa: An Introduction, Richard Ballard, 5. Poverty, Inequality and the Social Wage: Balancing the Books in Post-Apartheid South Africa?, Julian May and Nina Hunter, 6. The Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights: The Grootboom Case, Albie Sachs, 7. Social Rights Litigation as Transformation: South African Perspectives, Siri Gloppen, 8. Shaping, Making and Breaking the Law in the Campaign for a National HIV/AIDS Treatment Plan, Mark Heywood, 9. The Treatment Action Campaign and the History of Rights-Based, Patient-Driven HIV/AIDS Activism in South Africa, Mandisa Mbali, 10. Communal Land Rights and Democracy in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Ben Cousins and Aninka Claassens, 11. Socio-Economic Rights: Cornerstone or Capstone of Democracy?, Paul M. Graham, References, About the Contributors.