The Politics of the Human

To think of oneself primarily as a human being is to discount, in some way, the significance of the divisions we otherwise maintain between people. This is a powerful ethical ideal, and often deployed in challenging racism, xenophobia, misogyny, ultra- nationalism: the many hatreds of the ‘other’ that dwell obsessively on the differences between us, … [Read more]

Celebrating South African outsider artists: Helen Martins and Nukain Mabusa

In 1972, the British scholar Roger Cardinal coined the term “outsider art” as an English equivalent of “art brut”, French artist Jean Dubuffet’s term for artists creating extraordinary work outside the boundaries of mainstream western art. As early as the 1940s, Dubuffet recognized the work of these artists, individuals who often had little or no … [Read more]

Rethinking Development in the Global Information Age: Implications for Africa

This seminar conducted by Manuel Castells is a follow-up to his previous STIAS seminar Informational Development and Human Development: South Africa in a Global Perspective (24–26 August 2011).That seminar formed part of a larger project between 2011 and 2013 which brought together an international network of distinguished academic researchers engaged in an empirically grounded reflection … [Read more]

Food and nutrition security in rural communities

A book is being developed which takes into account multiple objectives of providing enough food at household and individual level, an acceptable monetary income and sustainable production under the constraints of limited access to resources (land, credit, water, technology, information, level of education and more), dependency on remittances and social security programs, and limited access … [Read more]

Impact of sustainable intensification of food production on environment and human well-being

Africa, once considered the breadbasket of the world, is now strongly affected by problems with food insecurity and malnutrition. Steady increases in African populations coupled with ecosystem degradation, climate change, limited access to modern production technology, poor extension services coupled with poor infrastructure amongst other factors negatively influence food security in many countries. These factors … [Read more]

Transitional Justice: Accountability for wrongdoing in the aftermath of conflict

Alternative methods of justice, such as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and amnesties, have been used in the aftermath of several conflicts, including in the wake of Apartheid. Such mechanisms are sometimes described as tools of ‘transitional justice’ that are either especially suited to, or demanded by, the circumstances that arise after periods of extreme violence … [Read more]

It’s the Education, Stupid! Martin Luther’s unfinished business

At the beginning of the 21th century mankind is confronted with a number of global challenges. Energy crisis, climate change, ecosystem degradation, pockets of extreme poverty and food insecurity collide with a world population that still grows at record numbers. If one would try to find a single instrument to address these challenges one would … [Read more]

The malaise of the human condition: Social diagnostics, human evolution and theological discourse on the contingency of “sin”

Social diagnostics gained some currency in the South African context through the Diagnostic Report (2011) produced by the National Planning Commission. It requires multi-disciplinary colla­boration to diagnose the root causes of the triple problem of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The malaise of the human condition is of course an age-old inquiry – addressed in literature, … [Read more]

The Impact of the Global Recession on Party Policy Preferences

The project continues and wants to bring to an end a project that has been started at STIAS in March 2013. The research question states: Have party policy preferences changed under the impact of the global recession that started in 2007/08? Two hypotheses are tested are prominent in the literature on globalization. They are modified … [Read more]

Education, Skills and Inequality in the Labour Market

The race between education and technology is a key factor in determining earnings inequality. The aim of this project, which consists of several parts, is to contribute to our understanding on how the formation of skills generates inequality in the labour market. In a first project, previously unused micro data from the 1930 Swedish Census … [Read more]