Supporting the “Elite” Transition in South Africa: Policing in a Violent, Neoliberal Democracy

  • Marlea Clarke


In this chapter, Marlea Clarke argues that South Africa’s high levels of police abuse need to be understood as part of a wider social conflict over the limited nature of South Africa’s transition from apartheid and the role of neoliberalism in it. She shows how the adoption of neoliberalism has shaped social conflict, police actions, and police reform in the country through an examination of the growing civil society protests, high levels of violent crime, and the government’s response to both. She finds that neoliberalism has created an environment in which police abuse has flourished, directed at suspected criminals and at striking workers and social movements engaged in what the government is quick to label as “violent and unruly behavior” that hampers the economy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marlea Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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