Complex microbial communities: application of supply-demand principles to advance the science from describing diversity to explaining diversity

This project will involve collaboration with Jannie Hofmeyr (SU) on, amongst others the principles of supply and demand as driving force of metabolic activity, and incorporating them: 1) into existing experimental data sets to explore adaptive behavior amongst bacteria as a basis for the maintenance of microbial community function in environmental processes, and 2) a … [Read more]

Understanding Emergence

Emergent behaviour seems to be characteristic of the `complex systems’ that currently feature in Mathematics, Computer Science, the Physical Sciences and Philosophy. The purpose of this project is firstly to explore the nature of complexity and emergence in each of those areas by exploiting STIAS’s close connections. The Centre for Studies in Complexity is an … [Read more]

Nelson Mandela – About Tolerance and Leadership (a biography)

The project will involve the final editing and fine-tuning of the main body of the book Nelson Mandela – Tolerance and Leadership. Key persons who can add value to the content of the book will be interviewed. Visits to the Eastern Cape are planned in order to explore Nelson Mandela’s childhood and upbringing (East London, … [Read more]

The Truth About Crime

Many African postcolonies are haunted by the spectre of: the waning efficacy of law enforcement, the ambiguity of authority, and the apparent abandonment of subjects by the state. The Truth About Crime, a book in progress, examines the problematic relation of law, theology, and sovereignty in contemporary African polities, especially in post-apartheid South Africa. It … [Read more]

Theory from the South

‘The Global South’ is rarely seen as a source of explanation for world historical events. Yet, as nation-states of the north experience increasing fiscal meltdown, privatization, corruption, ethnic conflict, and joblessness, it seems as though they are evolving southward, so to speak, in both positive and problematic ways. Is this so? How? In what measure? … [Read more]

Piety versus Orthodoxy

This project explores the relationship between two very different types of theology that have characterized theological thinking in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa during the past 150 years: mystical theology reflecting on the assumptions underlying the personal piety of believers and confessionalism aimed at defending orthodox doctrine. The interaction between these two types … [Read more]

Jurisprudence of the SA constitutional court – a comparative study

The project will analyse three factors in play: a national project of post-colonial recovery from distributive injustice, prominently including land reform; express constitutional protection for property rights; and a constitution whose other main features bring it recognisably within the broad historical tradition of liberal constitutionalism. To what extent does or must that constitution’s overall liberal affiliation … [Read more]

Balancing social welfare and private maintenance: the alleviation of poverty in South Africa

South African (family) lawyers continue to focus on the private maintenance obligation as the primary instrument for alleviating poverty. In line with political and economic policy promoting a shift away from welfare to a developmental state, they underestimate the risks to our democracy and the maintenance of the rule of law arising from social unrest … [Read more]

The work of culture in an age of informational capital

The major project is to outline and pursue further research on the forthcoming book, titled ‘Intellectual Property and its Publics: The Work of Culture in an Era of Informational Capital’ which explores new pressures and tendencies to treat culture as a resource and the growing propensity to claim rights on cultural grounds under neoliberal capitalism. … [Read more]

Gandhi’s Printing Press: Global Trajectories of Print Culture in the Indian Ocean

During his South African years (1893-1914), Mohandas Gandhi began fashioning his world-changing ideas on satyagraha/‘passive resistance’.  But he also practiced another kind of craft – running a printing press and publishing a newspaper. This project explores how Gandhi’s experiences as a press proprietor, printer and publicist influenced his philosophies. Gandhian theories of reading and writing … [Read more]