Introduction: Agrarian change, rural poverty and land reform in South Africa since 1994

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    This introduction sketches the context and dynamics of agrarian change, rural poverty and land reform since the end of apartheid in 1994, drawing attention to structural continuities and new elements in the countrysides of South Africa, and of the Southern African region in which South Africa must be located. Two key historical and theoretical reference points help focus attention on some central issues: the ‘classic’ model of dispossession/accumulation in South(ern) Africa, and ‘decentralized despotism’ as the distinctive mode and legacy of colonial governance. In conclusion, we introduce the papers as contributions to answering some central questions which require further research and debate.