Challenges to Political Cosmopolitanism: The Impact of Racialised Discourses in Post-Apartheid South Africa

  • Hana Horáková Metropolitan University Prague

Abstract

One of the key challenges of post-apartheid South Africa has been the need to create a South African “nation.” The efforts of the leading African National Congress started with Nelson Mandela’s reconciliatory discourse of a “rainbow nation,” via Thabo Mbeki’s concept of the African Renaissance, to the current stream of racial nationalism articulated as “Africanisation.” The present article attempts to examine the dilemma which the ANC as the major custodian of nation-building has been facing since the 1990s: how to reach a balance between a civic nationalism based on cosmopolitan values and the need to redress the legacy of apartheid and persisting racial inequalities. It is argued that the current culturalist discourse of Africanisation is not only contentious but also dangerous for the cohesion of the fragile democratic society of post-apartheid South Africa.

Author Biography

Hana Horáková, Metropolitan University Prague

Hana Horáková is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Metropolitan University Prague, Czech Republic. She holds a PhD in African Studies from the Institute of the Near East and Africa, Charles University, Prague. Her research interests include the anthropology of sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on politics of identity and nationalism, and theories of culture. She has published, edited and co-edited several books and other texts in the fields of social anthropology and African studies. E-mail: hana.horakova@mup.cz.

Published
2018-12-11
How to Cite
HORÁKOVÁ, Hana. Challenges to Political Cosmopolitanism: The Impact of Racialised Discourses in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 95-117, dec. 2018. ISSN 2570-7558. Available at: <http://edu.uhk.cz/africa/index.php/ModAfr/article/view/248>. Date accessed: 22 sep. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.26806/modafr.v6i2.248.