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Article
Economic Reforms and ‘Virtual Democracy’ in South Africa and Zimbabwe: The Incompatibility of Liberalisation, Inclusion and Development
Journal of Contemporary African Studies (2003)
  • Stefan Andreasson
Abstract

Following two decades of ‘neoliberal’ reforms in the global South, development goals have not been achieved. Firstly, neoliberal reforms aggravate exclusionary tendencies in emerging democracies, resulting in ‘virtual democracy’ where both vertical and horizontal accountability is eroded. Secondly, where virtual democracy is well advanced, the societal pressures generated by neoliberal reforms can cause a complete breakdown of democracy. Thirdly, the virtual democracy perpetuates underdevelopment in poor countries unable to resist, or negotiate, the terms of global economic pressures for reform. Political and socioeconomic trajectories in the 1990s in South Africa and Zimbabwe, respectively, are representative of the first and second propositions, and developments in both countries are symptomatic of the third proposition. Virtual democracy and perpetuation of underdevelopment are logical outcomes of neoliberal reforms.

Keywords
  • economic reform,
  • neo-liberalism,
  • development,
  • virtual democracy,
  • South Africa,
  • Zimbabwe
Disciplines
Publication Date
September, 2003
Citation Information
Stefan Andreasson. "Economic Reforms and ‘Virtual Democracy’ in South Africa and Zimbabwe: The Incompatibility of Liberalisation, Inclusion and Development" Journal of Contemporary African Studies Vol. 21 Iss. 3 (2003)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stefan_andreasson/5/