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Development from below? Enclaves or islands of effectiveness in current South Africa.

What influence does living or working in a special area, an area delimited –even if informally – from its surroundings, have on those inside and those outside this special area? In South Africa, there are gated communities and special rating areas that are such special residential areas. There are also LEDs – local economic development projects – promoted by local governments as a decentralised, bottom-up approach to economic development, building on the economic strengths of each locality. Another interesting example is that of Cape Town and its policy and practice during the recent drought period: Was there a wide-spread positive response to the call for vigilance and less consumption? And if so, how and why did this local policy and practice succeed?
There is a developmental literature both on sub-national “enclaves” and on “islands of efficiency” in a sea of dysfunction. Together with South African case studies, this work will be drawn on to debate under which conditions development from below may or may not be replicated on scale. It is clear that the role of the central state to allow or to promote such development is important.


Fellows involved in this project

South Africa

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