The Power of Injury: Memory, Decolonization, and the Challenges of Modernity in Africa

This book examines the political and social effects of Africa’s prioritization of the experience of colonization in its response to the world, and analyzes the role of Nelson Mandela’s notion of forgiveness in Africa’s inevitable path to modernity. It has been customary to suggest colonialism, imperialism, racism, and other abstract isms, as responsible for Africa’s … [Read more]

System Change Africa: Evolution not revolution

Finding an African way of dealing with African urbanism: Complexity theory and systems thinking show how governments and people can work together to achieve something that neither could ever achieve alone. The legacy of modernist planning and the garden city movement has imprinted its mark on how we plan, design and develop cities worldwide. It … [Read more]

Land Restitution and the Moral Modernity of the New South African State

The purpose of this project is to conclude a book-in-progress, entitled “Land Restitution and the Moral Modernity of the New South African State”. Given land restitution’s explicit mandate to redress the historical injustices of the old state, this state-driven process is crucially concerned with fusing the “formal rationality” of the former apartheid state with a … [Read more]

Lithium-ion batteries and the commercialization of science – a narrative

The project is to write an autobiographical narrative about the research and development of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from a research curiosity to practical reality. The introduction of lithium-ion technology in 1991 coincided with the onset of the consumer electronics revolution and the need for compact and light batteries to power cell phones and laptop computers. … [Read more]

“Access of Individuals to the African International Justice”

At the continental level, various legal instruments adopted within the framework of the African Union ((AU) guarantee a certain number of human and peoples’ rights. At the sub- regional level, the Constitutive Acts of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) guarantee, in a similar way, some rights to individuals or enterprises. At the same time, several … [Read more]

Generation, Democratization and Gang Violence in the Shanties: Haiti and South Africa

In this project, I seek an opportunity at STIAS to write several chapters of a book based on a comparative account of the nexus between violence and democracy in two shantytowns in Haiti and South Africa. The project builds on a series of transdisciplinary studies of violence that combine multistage quantitative and ethnographic data over … [Read more]

Democratic Governance, Corruption, and Corruption Control Mechanisms in Africa: A Comparative Study

The 1990s were the starting point in the wave of new multiparty democracies in Africa. Since then, the ideas and practices of liberal democratic elections and those about the peaceful transfer of powers through electoral processes and citizens’ participation have been spreading out and consolidating in many countries, despite some recent observed regressions. Expectations have … [Read more]

APOCALYPSE 2016-2019: Decline of Jacob Zuma, Rise of South Africa?

The three years 2016 to 2019 will change South Africa more significantly than any other time since the dawn of democracy in 1994. The bookends of that process are the August 2016 local elections at which the ruling African National Congress lost control of the country’s major cities, and the mid-2019 general election, at which … [Read more]

Leveraging Sector Development for Urban Transformation in Africa

Africa along with Asia is the epicenter of rapid urbanization in the 21st century. Urbanization is good news for development. Urbanization and economic growth are positively associated. Countries urbanize as their economies transit from agrarian to industrial. While this generally holds true, the links are weak in Africa. In the first two decades of post … [Read more]

The complex economics of the public domain

Prominent economists (and US trade negotiators) assert that bad things happen when creative works fall into the public domain. They insist that works without owners to shepherd them will become inaccessible, worn out, or mis-used and, therefore, the term of copyright should continue to be extended. Yet, recent empirical studies show that books falling into … [Read more]