Prof Jeremy Seekings

Prof Jeremy Seekings

Director: Centre for Social Science Research
Professor of Political Studies and Sociology

Professor Seekings completed his D.Phil in Politics at Oxford in 1990 and has been based at UCT since 1992. He is also a regular Visiting Professor at Yale. His research is inter-disciplinary, extending across history (especially economic history), politics, sociology and economics. In the 1990s and 2000s most of his work focused on South Africa. Over the past decade it has extended to more comparative work, including in Brazil, the Caribbean and other parts of Africa. He runs a major project on Legislating and Implementing Welfare Policy Reforms (LIWPR) in Africa.

Contact details

Tel: +27 21 650 3505
Office: Rm 4.27, Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus

Current research

  • Politics and economics of distribution and redistribution in post-apartheid South Africa
  • Welfare state building in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and elsewhere across the global South
  • Race, class and culture in comparative perspective
  • the decline of South Africa's clothing industry
  • Everyday violence in South Africa

Professor Seekings currently teaches courses on: race and class; the analysis of household survey research; the comparative politics of social policy in the global South; democracy and public policy in Africa. In the past he has also taught on contemporary South African politics and society, democratic and social theory, the sociology of work, and comparative politics broadly.

His research often combines qualitative research components alongside the analysis of quantitative data.

Recent publications

His books include:

  • Heroes or Villains: Youth Politics in the 1980s (Ravan Press, 1993).

  • The UDF: A History of the United Democratic Front in South Africa, 1983-2001 (Ohio University Press, David Philip and James Currey, 2000), which won South Africa's top academic book prize.

  • Class, Race and Inequality in South Africa (co-authored with Nicoli Nattrass, Yale University Press, 2005, and University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2006).

  • Growing Up In The New South Africa: Childhood and Adolescence in Post-Apartheid Cape Town (co-authored with Rachel Bray, Imke Gooskens, Lauren Kahn and Sue Moses, Human Sciences Research Council Press, 2010).

  • Policy, Politics and Poverty in South Africa (co-authored with Nicoli Nattrass, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Professor Seekings edited the journal Social Dynamics from 2000 to 2006, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research from 2005 to 2011. He is also on the board of Research Committee 21 (Urban Sociology) of the International Sociology Association.