Projects

Wildness

In this project, I engage with the concept of ‘wildness’, initially in the very problematic ways in which it is often used, but then more substantially in its possibilities for (re)thinking human, plant and animal identities, including in ways which decentre the human. The terms ‘wildness’ and ‘wilderness’ are very closely associated, whether in the … [Read more]

“Sustainable Cities in South Africa: A Legal Appraisal”

The 11th of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals adopted on 25 September 2015 (the new sustainable development agenda), focuses on the pursuit of cities that are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. ‘Sustainable cities’ in a broad sense refer to cities that are environmentally, socially and financially smart and that are efficient and inclusive, with sound … [Read more]

Constitution-building in Africa: Decentralisation and constitutionalism in Africa

Under the broad theme of constitution-building in Africa, the focus of this project will be on the issue of decentralisation and constitutionalism in Africa. One of the important aspects of the transition to multi-party democracy grounded on fundamental principles of modern constitutionalism has been the efforts towards formal and substantive decentralisation in all African countries. … [Read more]

“We Don’t Need Another Hero”

In a 2008, post-Polokwane missive to ANC president, Jacob Zuma, declaring his refusal to campaign for the African National Congress (ANC) in the upcoming 2009 general election, recently-deposed South African President Thabo Mbeki famously declared: “… I find it strange in the extreme that today cadres of our movement attach the label of a “cult … [Read more]

Cannon’s cats and Freud’s dream metaphor insight carry the keys to much human thought (and action)

Sigmund Freud in 1899, reported that the dream metaphor often provides the key to understanding the psychological origin of emotional distress (‘neurosis’), and Walter Cannon in 1915 elucidated the body’s response to emotional stress in cats, called the ‘fight or flight response’. Both topics have been frozen for more than 100 years – human stress … [Read more]

Mobilizing for Natural Resource Management at the Micro-level in Rural Africa

Natural resource management (NRM) involves efforts by different institutions to formulate and implement laws, policies and legislation to ensure viable use of natural resources. The natural resources, mainly found in rural areas, are not only important as a source of food and other domestic products but also form the basis for social and cultural functions. … [Read more]

Promoting peace, security and development in Africa: challenges, and constraints to South Africa’s African Agenda

The purpose of this research project is to (further) explore aspects of South Africa’s African policy over the past two decades, specifically within the frameworks of its African Agenda and its white paper on foreign policy, The Diplomacy of Ubuntu. The project examines a number of challenges and constraints that South Africa has encountered (and … [Read more]

Assessing the potential impact of agriculture on the biogeochemistry of a pristine wetland, the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta, Botswana is a World Heritage Site and an international treasure. The Delta is created by seasonal flooding from rainfall in the Angola highlands, the water is transported by the Okavango River and is lost primarily through evapotranspiration in the Kalahari Basin. The continued inflow of clean water coupled with various biogeochemical processes … [Read more]

Commemorating Painful Pasts through Performative Practices

The 19th and the beginning of the 20th century have left a dark legacy behind: world wars, genocides, civil wars, dictatorships and terrorist attacks with millions of people tortured, persecuted, displaced, dead, or disappeared without a trace. What do we later born generations do with these painful pasts? How can we hold on believing in … [Read more]

Noiseless optical amplifiers and their applications

Optical amplifiers are essential in optical communication systems that serve as the backbone of the Internet. Conventional amplifiers suffer from the addition of noise, thus degrading the signals to be detected. There is only one known exception to this, which is in principle capable of noiseless amplification, so-called phase-sensitive amplifiers. While relatively complicated to implement, … [Read more]