La democrazia riduce l’ineguaglianza economica? Il caso del welfare nel Sudafrica post-apartheid

Rocco Walter Ronza

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Does democratization lead to the reduction of economic inequality? While the neo-institutional literature on democratic transition and democratic consolidation tend to answer positively to the question, the temporal link between the Third Wave of democratization and the take-off of economic globalization, associated with the increase of inequality in the Global South and the retrenchment of the welfare state in the West, cast some doubts on such conventional wisdom and raises questions on the linkage between civil-political citizenship and economic citizenship in the current world. The paper describes the social policies adopted to address inequality in post-apartheid South Africa and the political debate on the mismatch between goals and outcomes after more than 15 years of democratic regime. It appears that, while racial polarization has been significantly reduced, the distributional regime introduced after democratisation has left the high levels of economic polarisation inherited from the apartheid years largely intact. It as argued that, as suggested by comparative-historical scholarship on welfare state-building in the West, the advent of economic citizenship requires the formation of particular political class-coalitions in addition to the introduction of democratic institutions. In today’s world, the influence of international markets and institutions on policy options available to the political decision-makers in the peripheral and semi-peripheral areas of the world economy is so strong that the analysis of “domestic” coalition-making should be conducted across the divide between the national and the international arenas. From this perspective, it seems that conditions for the rise of a radical redistributive coalition in South Africa do not exist at the moment
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Democracy reduces economic inequality? The welfare case in post-apartheid South Africa
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)229-253
Numero di pagine25
RivistaStato e Mercato
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
  • International Relations and International Political Economy
  • Social Security and Public Pensions
  • South Africa


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