Pretoria University Law Press (PULP)

PULP is an open-access publisher based at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Legal academics and progressive politics in South Africa: Moving beyond the ivory tower - PULP FICTIONS No.2

Legal academics and progressive politics in South Africa: Moving beyond the ivory tower - PULP FICTIONS No.2
Edited by Karin van Marle
2006
ISSN: 1992-5174
Pages:30
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About PULP FICTIONS - A space for dialogue:

Central to the becoming of a society in the context of posts (postapartheid, postcolonial, postmodern) and in the context of trans-formations of the political, legal, socio-economic and cultural is the creation of a vibrant and active public sphere. Of particular concern is an insistence on democracy and transparency radically different from strategic and instrumental conceptions – a space for dialogue and dissent, an opportunity for crea-tivity, experimentation and re-imaginings.

About the publication

In the second edition of PULP FICTIONS we continue the search for a vibrant and active public sphere through debate. As in the first edition, the dialogue is one between two academics from the faculty of law and, as in the first edition, different conceptions of law, politics and the role of the academic are teased out.

The context of the debate in this edition is a series of research meetings of the Department of Legal History, Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the UP Law Faculty. Over a course of a few of these meetings different perspectives on law, politics and the limits/ potential of the law were voiced by different colleagues.Tshepo Madlingozi presented in one of the meetings his views on the role of legal academics in progressive politics. In this contribution, which appears here, he urges all of us to move ‘beyond the ivory tower’, get out of our ‘air conditioned offices’ and embrace participatory action research. Madlingozi defines the latter as field research where the researcher interacts and participates with communities and engages in research that is ‘unashamedly’ political.

Anton Kok in response takes what he calls a ‘pragmatic instrumentalist’ view in contrast to Madlingozi’s more ‘ambitious critique’. Focusing more on law’s potential he highlights the areas where law could contribute to transformation.

Both colleagues are not afraid to put their personal political/ideological views on the table. In this way they contribute to the vision of creating a space for dialogue, dissent, creativity and re-imaginings.

About the authors:

Mr Tshepo Madlingozi works at the Department of Legal History, Comparitive Law and Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. His article: Legal academics and progressive politics in South Africa: Moving beyond the ivory tower.
Mr Anton Kok is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Legal History, Comparitive Law and Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. His article: Legal academics and progressive politics in South Africa: Moving beyond the ivory tower - A reply to Tshepo Madlingozi

About the editor:

Karin van Marle is a Professor at the Department of Legal History, Comparitive Law and Jurisprudence, at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.


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