COVID-19 and the Making of a South African Democratic Developmental State
Prospects and Pitfalls Amid a Pandemic
Keywords:Cold War Geopolitics, COVID-19, East Asian Tigers, Ethnic Rivalries, External, Internal and Global Security Threats, Democratic Developmental State, Developmental State, South Africa
This article assesses the impact of untraditional security threats on the origin and institutional configuration of existing and prospective developmental states in Africa. It adopts a case study research methodological approach which interrogates the effect of internal and global security threats on the formation of 21st-century African developmental states through the presence of four developmental state features: Development-Oriented Political Leadership; Presence of a Pilot Agency; Private Sector and/or Broad-Based Developmental Coalitions; and Popular Mobilisation through a Developmentalist Ideology. The case studies under review include four existing (Botswana, Mauritius, Ethiopia, and Rwanda) and one prospective (South Africa) African developmental states. This article finds that intense ethnic rivalries and domestic development imperatives were sufficient factors triggering the construction of developmental states in Botswana, Mauritius, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. Furthermore, the outbreak of COVID-19 has served as a global threat which precipitated developmental state project in South Africa.
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