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Rhodes > ISER > Sections > Social Policy

Social Policy

The Social Policy focus area in the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) is led by Prof Robert van Niekerk and Prof Rebecca Surender, and is supported by an international collaborative research network in social policy. That network includes a number of visiting professors and researchers, such as Prof Greg Ruiters (University of the Western Cape), Prof Di McIntyre (University of Cape Town), Prof Michael Noble (Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Oxford, Honorary Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council, and Executive Director of the South African Social Policy Research Institute), Prof Gavin Williams (retired from University of Oxford), Prof Yusuf Sayed (NRF SARChI Chair in Teacher Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology), and Prof Gemma Wright (Professor Extraordinarius at the Archie Mafeje Institute for Applied Social Policy Research at the University of South Africa, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Social Policy at the University of Oxford, Research Fellow at the Centre for International Education at the University of Sussex, and Research Director of the South African Social Policy Research Institute). A Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Social Policy and Labour has been created, and will be filled in 2014.

Post-graduate training in Social Policy includes the supervision of Masters and Doctoral students. In 2012, the following people completed their Masters degrees in Social Policy: Ms Ulandi du Plessis (with distinction) and Ms Lara van Lyleveldt. Current post-graduate students in Social Policy can be found under People on the ISER home page.

Activities undertaken under the Social Policy focus area have included the following:

  • A multi-country large scale study on the developmental state and social policy entitled Developmental States, Social Policy and Social Compacts: Global Opportunities, National Actors and Effective Institutions. The study is funded by SANPAD and includes South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Ireland.
  • A research programme on health policy.  The programme aims to develop knowledge and skills in critical health policy analysis in Rhodes University through an inter-departmental and multi-disciplinary research and teaching network of academics across the university working in the area of health. The research study informing the programme is entitled Understanding health reform and policy implementation in a democratic South Africa: the medical professions’ response to the proposal for a universal system of health care.
  • A research study entitled Effecting Social Citizenship through Social Policy: Policies, Contestations and Practices. The key research issue on which the study focusses is the social policy positions of political parties and the views of social citizenship and the post-apartheid good society that those policy positions reflect.
  • The social policy programme also undertakes training of government officials in South Africa and the wider SADC region in social policy analysis.
  • Two key publication from the programme are:
    • The Fate of the Eastern Cape: History, Politics and Social Policy (2011), edited by Prof Greg Ruiters, Director of the ISER until 2010.
    • Universal Health Care in Southern Africa: Policy Contestation in Health System Reform in South Africa and Zimbabwe (2012) co-edited by Robert Van Niekerk and Greg Ruiters


Last Modified: Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:40:24 SAST