Power in action: Democracy, citizenship and social justice by Steven Friedman
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Steven Friedman has long been one of South Africa’s premier public intellectuals, making invaluable and thoughtful contributions on the political issues of the day. In Power in Action, he zooms out from everyday issues to reflect on politics and democracy more generally, but it’s a view deeply informed by quotidian struggles and also by the South African experience. At its heart, Friedman’s argument is that contention and agency are what bring political change, and that making democracy real means that the poor and marginalised must confront the state in an organised way and on an ongoing basis. Only by challenging government every day through collective action will ordinary citizens claim the power to influence decisions that affect their daily lives – which for Friedman is the fundamental meaning of democracy.