Category Archives: South Africa

Why the quality of democracy matters for women’s rights in democratising states

Denise Walsh

This week, we build on our successful gender and politics series by sharing two blogs that provide additional angles on key issues in the field. We start with an article by Denise Walsh, which uses the cases of Chile and South Africa to highlight the ground that women can gain by organising early and gaining […]

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New Working Paper Series on India, Brazil and South Africa


In this blog, the co-editors of a new working paper series on IBSA tell us about their project. SJ Cooper-Knock, Indrajit Roy and Cintia Kulzer Sacilotto are all based at the Oxford Department of International Development. You can find the first paper in the series, on the politics of sustainable development, here.  

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Why elections in Bostwana and South Africa can be ‘free’ but not ‘fair’


In this article, Nicola de Jager argues that we need to take another look at Southern Africa’s ‘democratic darlings’; Botswana and South Africa. These states may have a relatively impressive democratic record on paper within Southern Africa but they are dominant party states. In practice, this dynamic places opposition parties at such a disadvantage that […]

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‘We are the relay team’: remembering Mandela.


In this blog, our Co-editor, Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock, reflects on the way in which Mandela has been remembered and the responsibilities that come with saluting his long walk to freedom.      

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On predictability. The everyday struggles of shack dwellers in South Africa


Last week, the award-winning film, Dear Mandela, by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, was screened at the London School of Economics and Political Science. After the screening, there was a question and answer session with one of the founding members of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a social movement for shack dwellers in South Africa, who were the […]

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The right to the city: a theory, a slogan, a politics of everyday life

Mari Huchzermeyer

Last week, Professor Marie Huchzermeyer gave her inaugural lecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she is a professor in the School of Architecture and Planning. Her lecture explored the concept of the ‘Right to the City’ as it appeared in the work of Henri Lefebvre and as it appears in the everyday life […]

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What’s in a name? BRICS and the global financial architecture


In this article Pooja Jain and Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock explore plans by the BRICS countries to establish their own development bank and currency reserve. What impact are these developments likely to have on the global financial architecture?

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There may be trouble ahead: South Africa and the ICC


In this article, our Co-editor, Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock, looks at the relationship between the African Union and the International Criminal Court in the light of Kenya’s ongoing case. She highlights the importance of South African support for the ICC and asks whether this support could be waning in the run-up to the AU meeting next month. […]

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There will be blood


This morning, the shack dwellers’ movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, released a press statement informing the public that 17-year-old Nqobile Nzuzua from Cato Crest, Durban, had been shot and killed in protests over evictions in the area. The organisation stated that they have now lodged several successful injunctions against the municipality to stop these evictions. They say […]

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Book launch: Mandisa Mbali’s ‘South African AIDS Activism and Global Health Politics’

In this post, we share Prof Richard Ballard’s comments on Dr Mandisa Mbali’s new book, ‘South African AIDS Activism and Global Health Politics’. Richard gave this review speech at the launch of the book in Durban last month.  In addition to providing a commentary on Mandisa’s work, Richard provides some insightful reflections on the study […]

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