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]

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]

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]

Ethics, Politics and the Law

A critical investigation of post-apartheid life under a transformed legal, political and social order from the perspective of women. Taking the concrete lives of women in the new dispensation as point of departure, the tension between the ‘public’ face of the new legal order (human rights, constitutionalism) and the ‘private’ reality of individual lives is … [Read more]

The Quality of Young Democracies

After the initial euphoria surrounding democratic transitions since the 1990’s, what is the present state and future prospects of these young democracies? How deeply embedded is the democratic spirit and how strong the democratic ethos and culture? A comparative and empirical study of the current situation in Poland, Germany, South Korea, South Africa and Chile … [Read more]

Urban Music and Identities

Cape Town has a rich and most diverse musical heritage, shaped by all kinds of cosmopolitan influences. From the perspective of the sociology of music, the project examines the expression of identities and the organization of social networks in a cosmopolitan urban setting. Apart from the importance for the transformation of the Western Cape, a … [Read more]

Global Media Ethics: Fundamental Values Amid Plurality

The growth of global news media presents a fundamental challenge to the theory and practice of media ethics. We live amid a technological revolution in the media that blurs geographical, cultural and even temporal boundaries. News media are global in reach and impact. Therefore, there is a need for a media ethics that is global … [Read more]

HIV Strain Dynamics

A growing concern in HIV research is the emergence of drug resistant strains of the virus. This could have far-reaching consequences for treatment strategies and the government’s ARV plan. The dynamics between host and virus and the factors contributing to drug resistance are not adequately understood. The project will use analytical and numerical methods on … [Read more]

Good Governance and Poverty Relief

The project explores the hypothesis that the eradication of inequalities (especially the alleviation of poverty) in developing regions and especially in Africa is directly dependent on the practice of good governance – not only by governments, but also in the corporate and NGO sectors of society.