Projects

Affirmative Action: A Comparative Study

In dealing with diversity and difference, many countries have moved from the relatively passive idea of non-discrimination to a more pro-active strategy of affirmative action (AA). AA measures as a strategy to achieve equality has been adopted in several demographically diverse countries. For the purpose of this project, we have placed the focus on a … [Read more]

Towards a New Humanism

“Why do we simply fail to establish a more human society in South Africa?  In spite of lofty expectations of a “better life for all”, of the restoration of human dignity, of a society free from discrimination, inequality, racism, sexism, corruption, self-enrichment and fear, we, in 2010, apparently are further removed from this ideal than … [Read more]

The HIV-Exposed but Uninfected (HEU) Infant: How Can the Excess Morbidity and Mortality be Explained?

This project has expanded beyond the initial STIAS realm and is the outgrowth of an initiative developed between STIAS and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS), associated with the University of British Columbia. An interdisciplinary colloquium, the first Peter Wall Colloquium Abroad, was held at STIAS in November 2009 and sought explanations for … [Read more]

Genres of Critique

This project seeks to open and explore a liminal space for critique between aesthetics and politics. We wish to elaborate and expand the meaning and significance of critique for political and legal discourse. Although these questions have broader significance, our focus and immediate grounding will be concerned with African and South African implications. Drawing on … [Read more]

Agro-food Regimes, Rural Poverty and Social Change in Southern Africa

Household food insecurity in rural Southern Africa has its roots in policies that supported large scale commercial farming by white settlers and the creation of spatially separate ‘reserves’ for black households. Smallholder farming was discouraged, and agriculture became a livelihood adjunct to labour migration. Commercial farms evolved into sophisticated components of commodity chains increasingly dominated … [Read more]

Developing a Model for Electronic Dictionaries

The advent of the electronic area has opened new ways to conceptualise and to organise knowledge. Paradoxically, electronic dictionaries have not exploited these possibilities. They are merely electronic versions of printed dictionaries and generally of a mediocre quality. The project developed a new theoretical model for electronic dictionaries. In the multilingual context of Africa, this … [Read more]

A Socio-Historical Perspective on Organized Crime

The project investigated organized crime around the Atlantic seaboard from an unusual perspective – by tracing the migration of RussoPolish criminals to North and South America and to South Africa between 1881 (after the assassination of Tsar Alexander II) and 1914. Using originally developed techniques of social history, the study gained new insights into the … [Read more]

Ethics, Politics and the Law

A critical investigation of post-apartheid life under a transformed legal, political and social order from the perspective of women. Taking the concrete lives of women in the new dispensation as point of departure, the tension between the ‘public’ face of the new legal order (human rights, constitutionalism) and the ‘private’ reality of individual lives is … [Read more]

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]