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Prof Jeremy Seekings

Jeremy Seekings

Professor of Political Studies and Sociology also Director of the Centre for Social Science

Prof Jeremy Seekings

I am interested in a wide range of topics concerning politics and society, in the present and historically, in Southern Africa and some other parts of the world. My first work was on the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s and the transition to democracy in the 1990s. In the 2000s and 2020s I have continued to work on South Africa, including on social stratification and inequalities (class, status, race, gender), the transformation of kinship and families, and the history and contemporary politics of poverty reduction and welfare-state-building. Over the past decade I have worked increasingly elsewhere in Southern Africa (and parts of East Africa), the Caribbean and (most recently) parts of the Mediterranean, focusing on (a) public policy with an emphasis on poverty reduction and social protection and (b) political parties, elections and voting. I am Director of the Centre for Social Science Research and an active researcher in the Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa. I have a strong interest in the combination of quantitative and qualitative research.

Contact details:

Email: jeremy.seekings@uct.ac.za.

Tel: +27 21 650 3505

Physical address: Leslie Social Science Building 4.27, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town 7701.

Current research:

  • Building an African welfare state: From drought relief to social protection in Botswana
  • International organisations, national governments and social protection in East and Southern Africa
  • The origins of the Maltese welfare state
  • Political parties, local elites and voters in Zambia and Botswana

Link to CV

Recent publications:

Nicoli Nattrass & Jeremy Seekings, Inclusive Dualism: Labour-Intensive Development, Decent Work, and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press): ISBN: 9780198841463.  

Jeremy Seekings, ‘The Limits to ‘Global’ Social Policy: The ILO, the Social Protection Floor and the Politics of Welfare in Southern Africa’, Global Social Policy 19,1-2: 139-58; DOI 10.1177/1468018119846418.

Jeremy Seekings, ‘Poverty and Inequality: South Africa in a Continental Context’, in Crain Soudien, Ingrid Woolard and Vasu Reddy (eds), State of the Nation 2019: Poverty and Inequality (Cape Town: HSRC Press): 42-56.

Michael Bratton, Jeremy Seekings, Daniel Armah-Attoh, ‘Better but not good enough? How Africans see the delivery of public services’, Afrobarometer Dispatch 290 (April 2019).

Jeremy Seekings, ‘The Limits to Global Social Policy: The ILO, the Social Protection Floor and the politics of welfare in Africa’, CSSR Working Paper 432 (Cape Town: Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town).

Jeremy Seekings, ‘Social Grants and Voting in South Africa’, CSSR Working Paper 436 (Cape Town: Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town).

Sam Hickey, Tom Lavers, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa & Jeremy Seekings (eds), The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa (Oxford University Press), ISBN 9780198850342. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198850342.003.0001;

Jeremy Seekings, ‘Building a conservative welfare state in Botswana’, in Hickey et al. (eds) The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 42-67.

Sam Hamer & Jeremy Seekings, ‘Social assistance, electoral competition, and political branding in Malawi’ (by Hamer and Seekings), in Hickey et al. (eds), The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 225-248.

Sam Hickey & Jeremy Seekings, ‘Who should get what, how and why? DfID and the transnational politics of social cash transfers’, in Hickey et al. (eds), The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 249-275.

Sam Hickey, Tom Lavers, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa & Jeremy Seekings, ‘The Negotiated Politics of Social protection in Africa’, in Hickey, Lavers, Niño-Zarazúa and Seekings (eds) The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 1-41.

Elena Moore and Jeremy Seekings (eds), ‘Social Protection, Intergenerational Relationships and Conflict in South Africa’, themed section in Critical Social Policy 39,4 (November 2019): 513-621

Elena Moore and Jeremy Seekings, ‘Consequences of Social Protection on Intergenerational Relationships in South Africa’, Critical Social Policy 39(4) (November): 513-24 DOI 10.1177/0261018319867582.

Jeremy Seekings, ‘The conditional legitimacy of claims made by mothers and other kin in South Africa’, Critical Social Policy 39(4) (November): 599-621; DOI 10.1177/0261018319867596.

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