This book provides an overdue critical re-engagement with the analytical approach exemplified by the work of Harold Wolpe, who was a key theorist within the liberation movement. It probes the following broad questions: how do we understand the trajectory of the post-apartheid period, how did the current situation come about in the transformation, how does the current situation relate to how a post-apartheid society was conceived in anticipation, and what are the implications of what have been failed ambitions for progressives? The contributions to this volume cohere around the following themes: labour and capital in post-apartheid South Africa, the post-apartheid South African economy, the state and transformation of South African society, and social policy in post-apartheid South Africa. The aim is not to provide a common or coherent theoretical perspective, but rather to probe a core problematic and set of theoretical concerns. The contributing authors explore not only historical and contemporary specifics, but deploy and reflect on theoretical tools that allow us to make sense of those specifics and to engage with the dynamics of race and class, and the form and functioning of the state, including its articulation with an increasingly financialised form of global capitalism.