May 2014

The Contract State

One of the most dramatic features of the post-apartheid state has been the contracting-out of government services to third-party providers. South Africa has become a ‘contract state’. What was called ‘state capacity’ is now predicated upon the ability of the state to tap into and manage, through contractual relations, private sector capacities. By the same token, corruption and clientelism are developing largely around the weaknesses of this ‘contract state’.

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