Understanding clinical quality of care in public primary health care facilities in South Africa

This study considers the reliability of a standardised client approach to inform policy makers about the quality of the clinical encounter at primary healthcare centres in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape metro areas. It is notoriously difficult to monitor clinical quality at primary care level and consequently there has been significant interest in this … [Read more]

Mutual innovation capacity building

One of the key assignments for my stay at STIAS will be to work out a proposal for the final agenda and format for a Round Table (RT) meeting to be held at STIAS in February 2016 together with Pontus Braunerhjelm. The theme of the RT will be “Innovation for prosperity”, and in the meeting … [Read more]

Innovations: Key to structural change and prosperity

One of the key activities during my stay at STIAS is, together with Margareta Norell Bergendahl, to finalize the agenda of the up-coming Round Table meeting to be held at STIAS in February 2016. The theme of the RT will be “Innovation for Prosperity”, focusing on innovation-driven growth in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, I will … [Read more]

Contingency and Uncertainty: Working with and against the state in South Africa

This project asks the question: under what circumstances, with what political resources, and under what kinds of assumptions are women able to make claims on the state to address gender inequalities? Much of the global scholarship on women’s capacity to effect systemic change begins from a premise that institutions can be designed to facilitate women’s … [Read more]

New approaches to anti-obesity therapeutics

Obesity is a medical condition defined as the excessive accumulation of fat that presents a risk to health. Worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980. In 2008, over half billion people were obese. Health hazards associated with obesity include heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Lifestyle modifications are the most straightforward way to control weight. However, a … [Read more]

The Theory and Practice of Social Transformation through the Arts (Being Human Today theme)

The world over and across time, the arts remain vitally important in fostering resilience and creating channels for reconciliation after conflict. This unique initiative blends South African, Kenyan, US American and Canadian scholarship, creative work and wisdom to explore how the arts are optimally used and the best ways to gauge progress and success. Informed … [Read more]

Multilingual ecologies

Languages change and adapt as they exist in the minds and practices of multilinguals. This has been my research focus for a long time. At STIAS, I work on several projects in this area. One concerns mining languages. Creating a typology of these (Fanagalo from  Gauteng and beyond is a prime example), I study multilingualism in … [Read more]

Property – Obstacle or Key to Success for South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy?

The inclusion of a clause protecting the deprivation of property in South Africa’s Constitution was controversial. The meaning of property, its reach and application remains contested. I hope to use the opportunity given to me by this fellowship at Stias to reflect on and gain a deeper understanding of the historical, cultural, economic and political … [Read more]

A convergence of interest between expressivism and pragmatism

Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in pragmatism, both historically and in its contemporary form, particularly as it has developed through the work of Bob Brandom, Huw Price, Michael Williams and others. There has also been a convergence of interest between the position known as expressivism, as it has developed in my own … [Read more]

Learning a sign language: the challenge of modality

The study of sign languages contributes to our understanding of the human language faculty. Learning a sign language is in many ways like learning a spoken language, whether you learn it as a child as your first language or as an adult. There are however, important differences in this acquisition process and these shed light … [Read more]