More student successes

Congratulations to PhD students Duncan Pieterse and Ralph Ssebagala for winning scholarships allowing them to spend a semester in the US. Duncan will be spending the US fall semester at Brown University, in their Graduate Program for Development. Ralph will be spending the same semester up the road at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Congratulations to Duncan and Ralph. Singumbe Muyeba will be at Yale (on a Fox Fellowship) at the same time.

Another student success

Kai Thaler has just been awarded a distinction for his Masters degree (by research only) on "Violence and Society in Post-Apartheid Cape Town". Kai's thesis uses data from the 5th wave of the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), supplemented with in-depth interviews, to examine participation by young men in violence, and the legitimation of violence. He finds that economic factors - including, especially, unemployment - are less important directly in the perpetration of violence than is usually imagined, whilst more immediate behavioural factors (such as heavy drinking) are more important.  

Africa Day 2011

Carlos Shenga at the DARU stall for Africa DayCSSR’s Democracy in Africa Research Unit (DARU) participated in a vibrant exhibition celebrating Africa Day and showcasing UCT’s partnerships and collaborations on the African continent from 23 to 25 May. The DARU exhibit, which featured information about the African Legislatures Project’s latest findings as well as AfroBarometer, the Open Society Monitoring Index, and the project for Political Leadership for HIV prevention in southern and eastern Africa, attracted a wide range of visiting scholars, donors and UCT students many of whom expressed interest in joining DARU.

Singumbe Muyeba wins Fox Fellowship to Yale

Singumbe Muyeba, a PhD student in the CSSR and the Sociology Department, has won a prestigious Fox International Fellowship to spend a year at Yale University in the USA. Singumbe's doctoral research examines the consequences of home-ownership for low-income households in Cape Town and Lusaka (Zambia). He will be using the opportunity of a year a Yale to read widely, audit relevant courses, and analyse his research. Singumbe is the fourth student from the CSSR to win a Fox Fellowship, following in the footsteps of Brendan Maughan-Brown, Colin Almeleh and Eduard Grebe. Singumbe has also won a scholarship to attend a Summer School on Comparative Urban Studies in Amsterdam in July, organised by the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR) and Research Committee (RC) 21 of the International Sociological Association. Well done Singumbe.

New director of the CSSR

Jeremy Seekings is the new Director of the CSSR. Jeremy is Professor of Political Studies and Sociology at UCT and has headed the Social Surveys Unit in the CSSR since the CSSR was founded ten years ago.

Seminar: Pedro Wolf

In the next seminar in the CSSR seminar series, on Thursday 24 March, Dr Pedro Wolf will present his work on the use of GPS data. Pedro Wolf is a new joint appointment between the CSSR and Psychology Department. Previous seminars in 2011 have included presentations on the circumcision and HIV, the use of mixed methods in the study of violence, and traditional healers and HIV.

Rebecca Hodes presents research in Frankfurt

Rebecca Hodes, Deputy Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, presented her research at a roundtable discussion of policy makers and international development partners in Frankfurt last week.
The research, which focuses on the emergence of the civil society and legal advocacy coalition which formed to influence the reform of sexual offences laws in South Africa, was conducted under the aegis of the Developmental Leadership Program (a research initiative of the World Bank).
The paper is entitled, 'Structure and Agency in the Politics of a Women's Rights Coalition in South Africa: The Making of the Sexual Offences Act'. It can be accessed here. It is co-authored with Jennifer Thorpe and Orly Stern.

Video podcast: launch of "Growing Up in the New South Africa: Childhood and adolescence in post-apartheid Cape Town"

You can view the launch of the book "Growing Up in the New South Africa: Childhood and Adolescence in post-apartheid Cape Town" by Rachel Bray, Imke Gooskens, Sue Moses, Lauren Kahn and Jeremy Seekings below or download it in your podcast client.

Download Video: MP4 / webm

Citizen Surveys is looking for an experienced Researcher

Citizen Surveys is a full-service research consultancy. They work with a large selection of clients including private sector companies, government departments, academic institutions and donor organizations.

Citizen Surveys seeks an experienced researcher to join the team. More information on the position is attached below.

Afrobarometer Summer School

A small number of seats are still available for UCT students to participate in the forthcoming Afrobarometer Summer School, 22 November to 17 December.

Participants will take a small number of intensive modules that will run for the first three weeks of the School.  The courses cover Social Statistics, Research Design, Presidents in Africa, Parties and Elections in Africa, Governance in Africa, and Ethnicity in Africa.  Using Afrobarometer data, participants will write an evidence based paper related to one of the substantive courses.  The fourth week of the Summer School will be devoted to finishing the paper, which will be presented publicly on the last day.

Anyone interested should send a cv and statement of interest to Professor Robert Mattes ( with a copy to Dadisai Tadera (

Essay selected specially for presentation at conference on global health politics

An essay written by Rebecca Hodes on ‘The challenges of upholding reproductive health rights in the time of HIV/AIDS’ has been selected for presentation at a roundtable discussion on Health Politics in an Interconnected World, to be held in Berlin from 1 – 6 December 2010. The roundtable will be hosted by the Irmgard Coninx Foundation, the Social Science Research Centre Berlin, and Humboldt University. 

Read the background paper to the conference here.

Read Rebecca’s essay here.

Launch of the Open Society Monitoring Index

Dr Max Price, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, and Ms Zohra DawoodThe Open Society Monitoring Index was launched at UCT on 12 August. The OSMI is a longitudinal research instrument developed by DARU in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. The index is designed to gauge the level of openness in South Africa. Openness in a society refers to the free flow of information, inclusive, accountable and responsive government institutions and the existence of the rule of law.

More about the launch, including podcasts, can be found here.