Focus

Karel | Jun 20, 2013
Focus is the journal of the HSF. It is used as a forum for public debate and adds new, fresh voices to the policy dialogue. Focus consists of articles and book reviews by academics, public intellectuals, researchers, and policy experts. Focus is published in digital form and is made available for free here on the HSF website.
Focus 81 - State & Nation
Dec 13, 2017
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Karel

This edition of Focus, the last for the year, looks at State and Nation in South Africa. With the nation facing a plethora of challenges and an upcoming 18 months that many see as definitional for South Africa's future prospects, this edition analyses a number of important political and legal questions. Its publication also comes soon after the celebrations of the centenary of Helen Suzman's birth. This edition pays tribute to her life and legacy and, in doing so, hopes to draw lessons for our contemporary society from Helen's firmly held liberal principles.

Focus 80 - Nationalism and Populism
Aug 29, 2017
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus looks at the global rise of nationalist politics and populist policies. Against the backdrop of numerous major international events, that have brought these issues back firmly onto the global political agenda, this edition will explore the ramifications of this political and social shift for South Africa and the world. In doing so, it will look at the history of these concepts, their theoretical foundations, the social and economic factors that drive them and their potential impact.

Focus 79 - South Africa and the World
Dec 12, 2016
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus looks at South Africa's position within the global context. The pieces traverse the history of South Africa's foreign policy. We examine our membership to BRICS, our relations with China and the implications of the Brexit vote. We also consider our role within the UN and provide an economic forecast of our future prospects drawing on lessons from other countries.

Focus 78 - The Economy
May 12, 2016
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus deals with the Economy. We begin with Michael Spicer’s broad sweep of the business government relationship during the apartheid era and, thereafter, post-apartheid. He chronicles the on-going deterioration in this relationship. He rightly points out that business is not a homogenous entity, but he also notes, especially during the Zuma years, how fractious, divided and unfocussed the state’s developmental initiatives have been.

Focus 77 - State and Nation
Nov 25, 2015
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus is the last for 2015 and, again, we try to provide an overview of State and Nation in South Africa. There is an emphasis this time on infrastructural concerns. Given the drought which is affecting South Africa, it is inevitable that water must feature prominently. But drought is not only a matter of lack of rain: it is also about planning, or the lack thereof. In South Africa this problem is compounded by policy choices, and how we deal with land for agricultural purposes.

Focus 76 - The Idea of a University
Sep 14, 2015
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus explores the issues which currently confront Universities in South Africa. Our starting point is the great tract The Idea of a University by John Henry Newman. With his background at Oxford and, later, with his involvement in the establishment of the University of Ireland, he was keenly aware of issues of marginalisation and religious and ethnic differences. Issues which we also face in contemporary South Africa. Nor did questions of finance escape him.

Focus 75 - The Economy
May 04, 2015
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Helen Suzman Foundation

The first edition of Focus for 2015 pays tribute to the late Harry Zarenda, and is dedicated to an examination of the South African economy.

Focus 74 - State and Nation
Oct 30, 2014
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Helen Suzman Foundation

The final edition of Focus for 2014 recapitulates and analyses some of the issues which have arisen in the past year with a view to adding new and alternative assessments of South Africa’s development as a constitutional state.

Focus 73 - Social Inclusion
Aug 13, 2014
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Helen Suzman Foundation

The idea of ‘social inclusion’ is a relatively new one in the policy terrain. To some extent, it has supplanted earlier concepts of social cohesion and social capital. Current thinking around society has moved on considerably since Mrs. Thatcher’s notorious dismissal of ‘society’. In South Africa the term has gained currency because of concern about growing inequalities which, at times, seem to overwhelm any considerations of what it means to be a South African.

Focus 72 - Democracy and Its Discontents
Apr 04, 2014
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus celebrates 20 years of democracy in South Africa. But it also draws attention to some of the institutional, economic and social problems which have either emerged, or which carry over from the pre-1994 dispensation. Notwithstanding all these discontents – which, no doubt, are exacerbated by the turbulent global context – there is much to celebrate in our constitutional democracy. Above all, we should never forget where we have come from, even though it is not all that clear where we are heading. Perhaps we will know a little bit more after 7 May

Focus 71 - State & Nation
Nov 11, 2013
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This edition of Focus is devoted to exploring some of the issues which confront state and society in South Africa. Three distinct themes emerge, namely, the Executive and the state apparatus dealing with prosecution and security; foreign policy in relation to Africa; and, lastly, the challenges facing South African universities (including their admission policies).

Focus 70 - On Land
Oct 10, 2013
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Helen Suzman Foundation

This year marks 100 years since the passing of the Natives Land Act of 1913. This Act has had profound consequences not only for individuals and communities, but it has also, in part, determined the political trajectories of modern South Africa. This edition of Focus is devoted to the Land Question.