Projects

The Pitfalls of Reductionism in Vaccine Research

Reductionism has been the predominant research strategy of molecular and structural biology in the 20th century.  According to Francis Crick (1966):«The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology is to explain all of biology in terms of physics and chemistry». It is now realized that a complex biological system like the immune system possesses … [Read more]

Xenophobia, Migrancy and Multiculturalism

Different causes and expressions of xenophobia are analysed by comparing three countries: South Africa, Germany and Canada. On a spectrum of rejection of migrants, South Africa is situated at one extreme, with Germany in the middle, and Canada at the other extreme. In each country, different rationalizations are used for ‘othering’ and different policies have … [Read more]

Regime shifts in social-ecological systems: impacts on ecosystem services and implications for poverty alleviation

Regime shifts refer to large, persistent changes in the structure and function of complex systems such as intertwined social-ecological systems (SES). Regime shifts in SES often have large impacts on ecosystem services (e.g., freshwater, food production, climate regulation) with considerable consequences for human livelihoods, health and security. There is evidence that the likelihood of regime … [Read more]

Inter-contextual hermeneutics: interpreting the bible in its social-historical and contemporary contexts

The contemporary western academic modes of reading the bible which focus on the history of the text or the text itself, and serve western interests and goals are inadequate for addressing questions and issues from African contexts. African scholars have therefore developed a general interpretation framework – the Contextual Approach – that relates the text … [Read more]

The Politics of Judicial Review in South Africa

South Africa’s turn to liberal constitutionalism has attracted wide interest from comparative politics scholars.  To date, however, there has been little serious scholarly work done on the politics of adjudication in South Africa.  This project fills that gap by exploring the political constraints under which the first South African Constitutional Court operated from 1995-2005.  In … [Read more]

Institutional Ecology, Sustainable Use and Community Based Natural Resource Management

Ecosystem services and wild resources are worth more than global GDP. Unlike capital and human resources, humankind has only evolved crude institutions for wild resources. These are failing to conserve natural environments, or to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor that coexist with nature.  Managing wild resources often requires collective action. Thus, the global … [Read more]

The Karretjie People of the Karoo

This play centres on the harsh and challenging world of the itinerant group of sheep shearers in the Karoo who have now virtually disappeared.  (This is the first of Fugard’s plays with the original text written in Afrikaans).

Mobile filmmaking

This project entails further refining and developing the technological apparatus necessary for the creation of broad quality digital film media from a mobile source taking into cognizance the specific advantages that such a breakthrough would have for millions of previously disadvantaged South African citizens whose access to the “mainframe” of the digital grid is extremely … [Read more]

“Many Voices One Song.” Health-promoting Schools: Evidence, Strategies, Challenges and Prospects

Globally, a moral imperative exists to ensure that all children are provided with the resources and environment necessary to enable them to reach their individual potential, and the call for investment to improve the health of children is almost universal. In parallel technological approaches are being sought to simplify prevention, diagnosis and management of disease. … [Read more]

Informational Development and Human Development: South Africa in a Global Perspective

In a current comparative research project the interaction between informational development and human development has been examined in various contexts, including Finland, Silicon Valley, Chile and Taiwan. The project aims at extending the analysis to South Africa. The study has a major policy component, as its final aim is to propose ways to link the … [Read more]