Working together to solve our problems: Responsible citizens, social cohesion and the partnership modality in South African development and beyond

Natascha Mueller-Hirth

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Cross-sectoral partnerships between governments, business and civil society actors have emerged as a key modality of global development in the 21st century. By bringing together the varied skills and resources of different sectors, development projects are thought to be delivered better and more inclusively. The Post-Washington Consensus identified the state and institutions as important in the efficient functioning of markets. Indeed the very concept of partnerships illustrates the blurring of the boundaries between the market, state and civil society, with business performing tasks that were once considered the responsibility of the state and the state in turn facilitating responsible behaviour from corporations, civil society organisations and individuals.
It is with this global transformation of development modalities over the last decade or so in mind, and drawing on a broader ethnographic study of the development domain in the country, that this paper examines post-apartheid South Africa’s poverty reduction and development agenda. Here, the government similarly emphasises the need for development collaboration through cross-sectoral partnerships at all levels, evident most clearly in the recent New Growth Path (2010) and National Development Plan (2013). The paper will present a discursive analytical reading of these policies, focusing specifically on three key themes: broad-based partnerships, social cohesion, and active citizenship. It will pay particular attention to discourses of neoliberal responsibilisation, but will also show how the global partnership model is articulated locally in hybrid ways that overlap with developmental state modalities and the ongoing reconciliation project of the country.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventBritish Sociological Association Annual Conference: 2014 - Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Apr 201425 Apr 2014

Conference

ConferenceBritish Sociological Association Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLeeds
Period23/04/1425/04/14

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    Mueller-Hirth, N. (2014). Working together to solve our problems: Responsible citizens, social cohesion and the partnership modality in South African development and beyond. Paper presented at British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Leeds, United Kingdom.