Projects

The Quality of Young Democracies

After the initial euphoria surrounding democratic transitions since the 1990’s, what is the present state and future prospects of these young democracies? How deeply embedded is the democratic spirit and how strong the democratic ethos and culture? A comparative and empirical study of the current situation in Poland, Germany, South Korea, South Africa and Chile … [Read more]

Urban Music and Identities

Cape Town has a rich and most diverse musical heritage, shaped by all kinds of cosmopolitan influences. From the perspective of the sociology of music, the project examines the expression of identities and the organization of social networks in a cosmopolitan urban setting. Apart from the importance for the transformation of the Western Cape, a … [Read more]

Global Media Ethics: Fundamental Values Amid Plurality

The growth of global news media presents a fundamental challenge to the theory and practice of media ethics. We live amid a technological revolution in the media that blurs geographical, cultural and even temporal boundaries. News media are global in reach and impact. Therefore, there is a need for a media ethics that is global … [Read more]

HIV Strain Dynamics

A growing concern in HIV research is the emergence of drug resistant strains of the virus. This could have far-reaching consequences for treatment strategies and the government’s ARV plan. The dynamics between host and virus and the factors contributing to drug resistance are not adequately understood. The project will use analytical and numerical methods on … [Read more]

Good Governance and Poverty Relief

The project explores the hypothesis that the eradication of inequalities (especially the alleviation of poverty) in developing regions and especially in Africa is directly dependent on the practice of good governance – not only by governments, but also in the corporate and NGO sectors of society.

Social and Economic Justice

The South African Constitution contains extensive social and economic rights. The interpretation of these rights, most markedly by the Constitutional Court itself, thus far had to rely on a tradition of jurisprudence that is based on the theory and practice of individual human rights. The aim of the project is to develop a theoretical framework … [Read more]

Dealing with the Past (Historical memory)

Why do some individuals or societies transcend a divisive past and why do some remain prisoners of their own past? A study in the ambiguity of memory in the light of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and similar attempts in different countries.

String Theory and Quantum Gravity – New Developments and Links to Low-energy Physics

The project explored the relationship between classical gravity and quantum field theories, as well as possible applications of the mathematical structures of string theory to low energy systems such as Quantum Hall Fluids. A further focus deals with the quantization of constrained systems, which naturally links to the above problems. The opportunity for African theoretical … [Read more]

Merging the layers of life

Developing a (mathematical) model suitable for the integration of the different levels of biological research (sub-molecular, molecular, organisms, populations) in one framework.