Non-state Security in South Africa: Historical Roots, Contemporary Realities

  • Danielle C. Kushner


This chapter introduces the key case study of the book, South Africa, and shows why this country is an opportune place within which to examine the political consequences of non-state security provision. It first lays out the historical context, showing the long history of non-state security reliance in this country. It discusses how, under apartheid, both the state and ordinary citizens relied heavily on various forms of non-state security, and how much of this reliance was connected to the politicization of crime and the politicization of the police force under that regime. The chapter then moves to the post-apartheid and contemporary period. It suggests that even under the post-apartheid democratic order, crime and security remain salient issues in South Africa and the heavy reliance on non-state security persists. The chapter suggests several possible explanations for this outcome and explores over time trends in crime using official police statistics and South African National Victims of Crime surveys. It also uses public opinion surveys to determine South Africans’ attitudes toward crime and whether and how these attitudes have shifted over time.


Non-state security Crime Security South Africa Apartheid 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle C. Kushner
    • 1
  1. 1.Political ScienceSt. Mary’s College of MarylandMarylandUSA

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