Projects

The Global Crisis and the Future of Democracy

The project is concerned with the sustainability of democracy around the globe in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial and economic crisis. Its underlying hypothesis holds that the crisis might have occasioned a shift towards a different geo-political configuration, away from the paradigm established in the mid-1970s and accelerated after the collapse of the Soviet … [Read more]

You, me and I

Identity is a term much used yet hard to define. Perhaps for this reason, the concept has long been a favourite with philosophers, and for the very same reason has been avoided by brain scientists, – until now. Greenfield reviews the social perspective from finger prints, to faces, to signatures of the many ways we … [Read more]

Cooking increases the energy value of meat

Processing food extensively by thermal and nonthermal techniques is a unique and universal human practice. Food processing increases palatability and edibility and has been argued to increase energy gain. Although energy gain is a well-known effect from cooking starch-rich foods, the idea that cooking meat increases energy gain has never been tested. A novel study … [Read more]

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]