Hope and Despair for a New South Africa: The Limits of Rights Discourse

52 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2009

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

This article is a critique of the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. It explores the assumptions employed by the African National Congress and the international community to construct a post-apartheid society. It argues that the reliance on the law as the key medium for economic, social, and political change was insufficient to transform the legacy of apartheid. Instead, the piece contends that apartheid was privatized and its beneficiaries protected under the new dispensation. It makes the argument that the lot of the black majority is unlikely to be changed such gradualist approach to social change.

Keywords: Rights discourse, apartheid, transformation, racism, African National Congress, United Nations, sanctions, democracy

Suggested Citation

Mutua, Makau, Hope and Despair for a New South Africa: The Limits of Rights Discourse (1997). Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 10, pp. 63-114, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1525543

Makau Mutua (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

626 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716 645-2311 (Phone)

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