Of men, magic, and the law: popular justice and the political imagination in South Africa.

South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s saw the widespread emergence of "people's courts." These informal structures of justice arose in the context of intense political conflict and struggle against the apartheid government, the collapse of institutional structures for resolving conflicts, and extraordinary state violence and repression. People's courts also often became a site within which individuals and groups, particularly young men, imagined a world beyond apartheid. In this sense they emerged as a kind of theater, ultimately a kind of modern political ritual, wherein people elaborated and disseminated new ideas of civil society, for example about what defines nation, citizenship, patrioti