Crime and Citizenship

Witnessing the large-scale displacement and conditions of statelessness in the wake of the Second World War, political theorist Hannah Arendt coined the evocative phrase “the right to have rights”, arguing that the fundamental right, from which all other rights sprung, was the right to membership of a political community. Who gets to define whether one … [Read more]

The legacy and lessons of the Khulumani case

During its 12-year trajectory, the Khulumani case has excited interest worldwide. The case should be understood and situated within the Transitional Justice initiatives undertaken during the South African political and legal transition, most notably the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. What approach was taken towards reparations for victims of gross human rights abuses during Apartheid? The … [Read more]

Expertise and Public Participation in Government Policymaking: South Africa in Comparative Context

The fellowship at STIAS will build on my prior work on comparative administrative law dealing with public participation in policymaking. In the modern state, legislatures cannot possibly resolve all aspects of the large policy problems raised by the activist regulatory state. Over and above the statutory language, executive officials are constantly required to deal with … [Read more]

A Gene Revolution for Africa? Genetically Modified Crops and the Future of African Agriculture

Africa has emerged as the ‘final frontier’ in the global debate over the potential for Genetically Modified (GM) crops to alleviate poverty and hunger for smallholder farmers. Proponents argue that GM crops represent one of the most promising means of improving yields and livelihoods across the continent, and have invested over half a billion dollars … [Read more]

Acknowledgment, denial and collective memories of mass atrocities: comparative perspectives

Recent decades have witnessed systematic efforts to build institutions in response to mass atrocities, a “justice cascade”, and an unprecedented wave of apologies by heads of state. Simultaneously, denial is rampant, at times strategically planned in response to acknowledgment, and supported by a calculated reluctance to intervene. The proposed project explores comparatively struggles between acknowledgment … [Read more]

It takes two: Theoretical and clinical advances in vulvodynia from an interpersonal perspective

Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition that is characterized by recurrent vulvo-vaginal pain that does not have an identifiable cause. With an estimated prevalence of 8% in the general population, this pain negatively affects women’s and their partners’ overall quality of life, including their psychological, relationship, and sexual well-being. In vulvodynia, the pain interferes with … [Read more]

From Sovereignty to Property (and back): The spatial transition of colonial and developmentalist claims over land

Central to the question of land grabs around the world is a tension between the sovereignty of States – and its internal manifestation in the form of eminent domain – and the property rights of individuals and communities.  It is through such state action that land grabs are made possible – long term leases, land … [Read more]

A Place to Call Home: A comparative study of the urban housing boom in Luanda and Nairobi

Despite their very different political and economic contexts, both Luanda and Nairobi have experienced housing booms and urban property bubbles over the last fifteen years.   Both also exhibit the “extreme splintered urbanism” found in other urban landscapes across Africa, where sprawling informal settlements with inadequate housing and services border new middle class suburbs.  This study … [Read more]

Re-Urbanism in Africa: Building Master-planned, Holistically-designed Satellite Cities

Large-scale property developers have recently embarked on a far-reaching strategy designed to reshape the existing spatial configuration of many cities in Africa. If these strategies are successfully implemented, major metropolitan areas in Africa will be fundamentally restructured to more explicitly serve the interests of property-holding elites and satisfy the desires of the leisure-consuming classes. What … [Read more]

Dog-human correlations in post-Soviet and post-apartheid literature and film

My research project falls into the interdisciplinary field of human-animal studies and deals with the discursive formation of human-dog correlation in socio-political discourse. It is a comparative investigation of narratives, primarily literature, film, and media, which represent and problematize the dynamics of cultural perceptions of dogs and human-dog interactions in post-communist post-Soviet and post-colonial post-apartheid … [Read more]