1932

Abstract

In the 1960s, social scientists speculated about what the consequence of legal, cultural, and racial pluralism would be in Africa after independence. Now, 50 years later, we know that, though transformed, cultural pluralism remains a shaping force. In Tanzania, from the 1960s on, there was an effort to build equality and national loyalty through socialism. In South Africa, after 1994, there were two major kinds of legislation that rejected the racially divisive past and attempted to repair its damage. One established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; the other was a cluster of laws that designed a scheme of land reform. Both have been studied by anthropologists. Here, I review the Tanzanian and the two South African instances. The incompleteness and unevenness of what was achieved can be compared with the grand legislative intentions that preceded the law making. This has profound implications for the analysis of social process and for the relationships among the state, its ambitions, and its citizens.

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2011-12-01
2024-06-16
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