By Anthony Butler
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Additional resources for Democracy and Apartheid: Political Theory, Comparative Politics and the Modern South African State
The energy channelled into separate development could never resolve South Africa's social and economic problems. As elsewhere, however, it was the end of the postwar economic boom that brought underlying structural problems into clear focus for South Africa's ruling elite. Rapidly decelerating economic growth, and the increasing irrationality and economic unsustainability of the high apartheid state, led first to further centralization and militarization, but eventually to crisis and near collapse.
Section three discusses the advances within the English language historiography of South Africa which have resulted from this debate, and explores key ways in which the argument has moved beyond its initially limited terms. The fourth section examines broader advances in the study of South African history since 1970, and shows how these have challenged liberal traditionalism but without adopting a crude historical materialism. Section five investigates key lacunae in this literature, understood on its own terms: a failure to locate South African history within a wider international context; limited attention to the relations between state and industry; submerged or moralized questioning of sites of moral culpability; and the absence of adequate historical institutionalist analysis.
33 Forms of non-oppositional liberalism and self-consciously liberal paternalism among English South Africans also may have played a role in the construction of segregationist ideology? 4 The second set of debates developed in the 1960s in the new subdiscipline of African history, with its insistence that colonial countries' history could not be understood as the actions of settlers upon a passive native population and environment. Developed in part in response to decolonization further north in the continent, and initially forcing a rethinking of the historical dynamics of African societies before colonialism, this sub-discipline brought fresh attention to the origins of the migrant labour system.