Trade unions in South Africa and the discourse of the neoliberal state

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Whether South Africa is a Developmental or a Neoliberal State has been a topic of great debate among social scientists. This chapter offers the perspective of discourse analysis on the debate by assessing the influence of the global discourses associated with the two competing state models above on the argumentation and linguistic strategies of the South African post-apartheid state. I consider four rounds of public sector strikes as moments when the prevalence of one discourse over the other becomes evident in the public interventions of government representatives and analyse them through the lenses of Argumentation Theory and Systemic Functional Linguistics.


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