Rescaling the state, restructuring social relations

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The literatures on rescaling of the State and feminist analyses of state restructuring have generally spoken past one another. Recent work by feminist theorists that begins to bridge this gap looks at gender in isolation from race and class and focuses primarily on the implications of state rescaling for service recipients. By contrast this article focuses on the relationship between state rescaling in post-apartheid South Africa and the restructuring of racialized, gendered social relations in the labour market. Despite policy commitments to 'developmental local government', rescaling of the State South African style is market-oriented and driven by an accommodationist approach to globalization. Drawing on a detailed analysis of the shift to a 'contracting local state' in Johannesburg and the resulting restructuring in the waste management sector, it is argued that this rescaling of the State was shaped by pre-existing racialized gender relations in the workplace and labour market, which it in turn entrenched and exacerbated, infusing these social relations with new content and meaning. Feminist analysis of state rescaling must therefore include analysis of the gendered and racialized social relations within the scales of the workplace, labour market and the local State.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-39
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • Johannesburg
  • Local government
  • Privatization
  • Rescaling
  • Restructuring
  • South Africa
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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