John Daniel, Roger Southall & Jessica Lutchman
210mm X 148mm
November 2004
In print
Forthcoming editon

State of the Nation: South Africa 2004-2005 provides a comprehensive and frank picture of contemporary South Africa. Recalling the format of the South African Review that was edited by Glenn Moss and others in the 1980s, and drawing inspiration from the presidential 'State of the Nation' speeches which have become a feature of our new democracy, these annual State of the Nation collections seek to provide empirically-based analysis and assessment of contemporary events and trends from a developmental perspective, reflecting the values that are embedded in the Constitution. The founding State of the Nation collection attracted widespread interest. It was commended for the quality and coverage of the contributions and the vigorous argument that they occasioned. The current volume constitutes a worthy successor, and is sure to have a similar effect. Written by some of the key social scientists in South Africa, the volume provides critical insights into the state of the political parties after the 2004 election, race and identity ten years after the advent of democracy, the performance of the economy, the state of employment and emerging patterns of business ownership. Essays on the state of the military, crime and policing, schooling, arts and culture, the Muslim community and how AIDS is affecting families and households are both enlightening and useful. Probing accounts of South Africa's relations with Nigeria and Zimbabwe round off the book.

A balanced and nuanced evaluation of the real state of the nation - one that will be used with profit by all interested in the country and its future.
Ian Taylor, Political Scientist, University of Botswana

One of the central objectives of the study is to celebrate the achievements since 1994 and to irritate those in positions of power with trenchant observations on the limitations of the progress so far. Not a ceaseless litany of gloom and doom - it is punctuated with hopeful conclusions.
Patrick Laurence, Editor, Focus magazine