Editorial from ROAPE Volume 4 Number 9
Most of the contributions in this issue relate to southern Africa and thus follow on some of the themes of number seven of the Review which was on South Africa. They thus help to map out how South Africa is at the hub of what is to some degree a regional political economy. The three main articles deal with three of South Africa's neighbours and in each case the specific ties of investment, trade, labour supply each has with the Republic are spelled out as well as the different complex of social and political forces at work within them. Beyond this common ground, Innes concentrates on the patterns of South African domination that Namibia has experienced and the build up of the struggle against them, which he argues is becoming increasingly based on the peasants and workers - although where one class begins and the other ends given Namibia's forms of contract labour could be explored further. The more recent unfolding of this struggle is documented in one of the Briefings. Winter's focus is on the state in Swaziland. She attempts to analyse its essential character from first principles, as it were, by specifying the complex of relationships of production which underlay the whole society as it has developed. Eriksen has a more exclusively contemporary theme: the vacillating but increasing tendency for state power holders in Zambia to accommodate to imperialism and even to the South African regime as a more unambiguously bourgeois class emerges.