Constitutional protection of economic and social rights in South Africa

This proposal forms part of a larger project on economic and social rights in general, and the right to housing in particular. Some jurisdictions are reticent about affording constitutional or even legislative protection to such rights. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for example, entrenches civil and political rights in the Constitution, but is … [Read more]

Revised edition of the book “Biochemical Oscillations and Cellular Rhythms”

A second edition of the book (entitled “Biochemical Oscillations and Cellular Rhythms. The molecular bases of periodic and chaotic behaviour”, published by Cambridge University Press in 1996, and in paperback edition in 1997, will be prepared. The book is devoted to the study of the molecular bases of cellular rhythms by means of mathematical models … [Read more]

South Africa in the Region. Gateway or Gatekeeper?

The main purpose of this project is to analyse South Africa’s Foreign Policy towards its own region and towards Latin America (Brazil and Argentina) on a comparative basis and to discuss its role as a regional-middle-emerging power: Leadership? Bandwagoning? Follower? Gateway or Gatekeeper? Africa and South Africa are nowadays more attractive than in the past, … [Read more]

How did Homo sapiens become Homo docens? On the evolution of social learning and teaching during the Paleolithic

The purpose of the project is to analyse why teaching has evolved only in the line leading to Homo sapiens. This will be done by combining theoretical models with an analysis of archaeological material, primarily material from South Africa. The theoretical part of the work views teaching and language as two forms of cooperation. Current research … [Read more]

Biological Chemistry: Metal transport by proteins

While DNA contains the genetic information, a large number of different proteins are the ‘workhorses’ in living organisms executing the orders given through the DNA code. In order to function, most proteins (synthesised as long polypeptide chains) must fold into compact globular structures such that chemical groups are placed at the right positions for each … [Read more]

Legal Traditions and the New Logics

Over the last three centuries western legal thinking has been driven by notions of nation-states, national legal systems and classical forms of logic. The emphasis has been on consistency and uniformity within states and relations of conflict between states (‘the conflict of laws’). Globalisation and the mobility of human populations have, however, changed the background … [Read more]

Punishment and Legitimacy: A Kantian Perspective

This project seeks to contribute to our understanding of the moral values that underpin procedural rights in criminal trials, with a particular focus on the sentencing process. It is common to explain the moral significance of legal processes in instrumental terms, as a reliable means of arriving at correct outcomes. This research will explore the … [Read more]

Is there a future for the project of a clinical anthropology (‘patho-analysis of existence’)

Is it still possible and meaningful, as traditional psychoanalytic theory implies, to understand the relation between psychopathology and (philosophical) anthropology in a positive and structural way? This would imply that psychoanalysis is characterised by a primacy of the pathological, rather than a primacy of sexuality: studying psychopathology is crucial in order to understand what it … [Read more]


The target and at the same time the tool of the project is the conceptualisations and imaginations of the social and the economic in various African languages. The semantics of these two spheres are conventionally departing from Western conceptualisations with an origin in the Antique World. The project, part of a larger research team, will … [Read more]

The Importance of Being Modern: A Chronicle of Contemporary India

This project involves the writing of a rather particular anthropological history of contemporary India. The focus is principally (but far from exclusively) on the author’s own high school cohort of around 200 women and men from Modern School, an elite day and residential institution in New Delhi. On the one hand, issues of affect, friendship, … [Read more]