Article from ROAPE Volume 3 Number 7
Class Struggle and Periodisation of the State in SA

Class Struggle and the Periodisation of the State in South Africa
Vol.3 No.7 (Winter 1976), pp4-30
This article represents an attempt to periodise the SA state through an analysis of political class struggle. The analysis draws heavily on the theoretical work of Nicos Poulantzas. The changing patterns of conflict and alliance between the different classes and ‘fractions’ in the ‘power bloc’ are traced in an attempt to identify changes in the form of state and form of regime. The analysis, concentrating on three historical periods - the Pact period, the Fusion period and the period between 1940 and 1948 - thus provides a fundamental reinterpretation of SA history, and shows how the ground was cleared for the capture of state power in 1948 by those class forces represented by the Nationalist Party.