Neoliberal ApartheidPalestine/Israel and South Africa after 1994

Neoliberal ApartheidPalestine/Israel and South Africa after 1994

Andy Clarno

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226429922

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


In the early 1990s, South Africa and Palestine/Israel began negotiations to end colonial rule. The South African state was democratized and Black South Africans gained formal legal equality. Palestinians, on the other hand, won neither freedom nor equality through the Oslo “peace process.” Israel remains a settler colonial state. Despite these differences, the transitions of the last twenty years have produced similar socio-economic changes in Palestine/Israel and South Africa: growing inequality, racialized poverty, and advanced strategies for securing the powerful and policing the racialized poor. Neoliberal Apartheid explores this paradox through an analysis of settler colonialism and racial capitalism in Palestine/Israel and South Africa after 1994. Based on a decade of research in the Johannesburg and Jerusalem regions, Neoliberal Apartheid presents detailed ethnographic studies of the precariousness of the poor in Alexandra township, the dynamics of colonization and enclosure in Bethlehem, the growth of fortress suburbs and private security in Johannesburg, and the regime of security coordination between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Scholars and activists increasingly look to South Africa to make sense of conditions in Palestine/Israel. While most studies compare South Africa before 1994 and Palestine/Israel after 1994, Neoliberal Apartheid is the first comparative study of social change in both contexts since the 1990s. It addresses the limitations of liberation in South Africa, highlights the impact of neoliberal restructuring in Palestine/Israel, and argues that a new form of neoliberal apartheid defined by marginalization and securitization has emerged in both states.