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Title: Financialisation in post-apartheid South Africa
Author: Isaacs, Gilad Lee
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 0653
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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The thesis explores the internationalisation and financialisation of the South African economy in the post-apartheid period grounded in a Marxist political-economy framework that understands financialisation as part of a structural transformation in mature capitalism. It elucidates this in terms of shifting property relations in concert with the internationalisation of the circuits of capital. Financialisation is viewed as entailing the intensive and extensive penetration of finance into ever more spheres of political, economic, and social life, and the remaking of relationships between capitals, capital and the state, and capital, the state and households, with the local political economy and global integration playing key roles. The historic trajectory of the South African economy - and the development of the financial system therein - is understood through the lens of the Minerals-Energy Complex (MEC). Liberalisation and reregulation are shown to be critical developments in post-apartheid monetary policy. Together, these deeply affect South Africa's global financial integration, subjecting the South African economy to new external vulnerabilities. The South African financial sector undergoes important shifts, with banking increasingly geared towards short-term financial market intermediation and lending to households. At the same time financial investors come to play an increasingly important role in market dynamics. Far-reaching change is visible in the productive sector with restructuring, internationalisation, quasi-privatisation, and Black Economic Empowerment altering patterns of ownership. Non-financial corporations are increasingly engaged in shortterm financial-market activity and shareholder payouts boom, with deleterious affects for capital accumulation. The underlying structure of the economy however has strong continuities with the past and a financialised MEC emerges. Finally, households have, highly unevenly, been integrated into financial markets structuring the nature of social reproduction with broader processes of financialisation retarding employment and raising inequality. Through this all, social and economic relations are remade with financialisation constituting a central feature of South Africa's post-apartheid transformation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral