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SaVI/CSSR Seminars

  • The promise and potential of evidence-based policing in South Africa

    Speaker: Andrew Faull 

    Andrew is a Senior Researcher in the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) where he leads a project on evidence-based policing. He was previously a senior researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Centre of Criminology, where he remains an Associate. He earned his doctorate at the Centre of Criminology at the University of Oxford and is the author of two books about South African police officers.

    Abstract: 

    Does ‘visible policing’ or rapid police response dissuade people from offending? Are our intuitions about criminal justice reliable?  The emerging field of evidence-based policing suggests that much of what the public and police believe may be wrong. In evidence-based policing, police officers, communities and researchers are encouraged think critically about what police do. Police challenge existing norms and carefully test new approaches to their work, building on and refining the best available evidence of what works to achieve the intended outcomes. This seminar will introduce the idea of evidence-based policing and ask whether it has a place in the policing of South Africa.

    Date: Tuesday,01 October 2019

    Time: 12:50 -14:00 (lunch will be served from 12:30)

    Venue: CSSR Seminar Room 4.29 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus

    RSVP with: Lameez Mota> lameez.mota@uct.ac.za

  • Militarised Policing and the ‘War on Crime’ in Cape Town

    Date: Tuesday, 30 July 2019

    Seminar Title: 

    Militarised Policing and the ‘War on Crime’ in Cape Town

    Speaker: 

    Dr Guy Lamb, Director, Safety and Violence Initiative, University of Cape Town.

    Abstract: 

    Recently more than 1,000 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers were deployed to support the South African Police Service (SAPS) as part of Operation Prosper in an attempt to restore law and order and reduce the number of incidents of violent crime in various hotspots throughout Cape Town. This is not the first time the SAPS and the SANDF have engaged in joint crime-fighting, crackdown operations. For more than two decades, whenever there has been an acute moral panic about violent crime, government has typically responded with the deployment of large policing operations that have often involved in the military. This seminar will reflect on how crime hotspots have been policed in South Africa since the mid-1990s, and the impact that militarised policing has had crime levels.

     

  • Gun Free Kitchen Tables: Feminist action against mass civilian armament in Jewish and Palestinian communities in Israel.

    Date: Wednesday,13 March 2019

    Seminar Title: 

    Gun Free Kitchen Tables: Feminist action against mass civilian armament in Jewish and Palestinian communities in Israel.

    Speaker: 

    Rela Mazali, writer, independent scholar and feminist anti-militarist from Israel.

    Abstract: 

    In August 2018, Israel’s Minister of Public Security announced a radical reform in gun licensing policy. Reversing over two decades in which civilian licenses were issued with relative caution, he effectively put in place a policy of mass civilian armament. Thousands of gun bearing civilians in the civil sphere, he claimed, would hugely increase protection from terrorist attacks against random civilians. In response, the sole small arms disarmament and gun control initiative in Israel’s civil society, Gun Free Kitchen Tables (GFKT), accelerated activities. Placing over 30 items in the media, GFKT activists attended and addressed three meetings of parliamentary committees, spoke at protests of both dozens and tens of thousands all over the country. GFKT stressed that the move would further escalate the already lethal flood of unregistered firearms and rampant gun violence concentrated in the towns and cities of Israel’s Palestinian citizens would. More gun violence throughout Israel, we emphasized, would disproportionately impact women at large and Palestinian women in particular. Unpacking the move as government divestment from accountability, on November 29th, GFKT filed a petition to the High Court of Justice to overturn the minister’s new policy. On the backdrop of these events my talk will outline the young, still emerging, feminist, Palestinian and Jewish gun control movement in Israel.

  • ‘Climate change and violent conflict: A critical reflection’

    Date: Tuesday, 5 March 2019

    Seminar Title:

    ‘Climate change and violent conflict: A critical reflection’

    Speaker:

    Prof Dr. Michael Brzoska, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg

    Abstract:

    Prominent in many policy documents on the consequences of climate change is an increase in armed conflict. The empirical evidence, however, remains thin. Furthermore, a closer look at the potential links between climate change and violent conflict reveals the importance of context and politics. The speaker will introduce and comment on main strands of current research on the topic focusing on his own research on the consequences of disasters for violent conflict.

  • What Do Global Solutions to Mass Incarceration Look Like? An Introduction to the Incarceration Nations Network

    Date: 19 February 2019

    Seminar Title:

    What Do Global Solutions to Mass Incarceration Look Like? An Introduction to the Incarceration Nations Network

    Speaker: 

    Dr. Baz Dreisinger. Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.  Executive Director of the Incarceration Nations Network (INN).

    Abstract:

    There are some 10.35 million people worldwide are currently behind bars. This number is steadily increasing: Between 2008 and 2011, the prison population grew in 78 percent of all countries and between 2000 and 2016 it showed an increase of almost 20 percent. More than 3.2 of these 10.35 million people behind bars have not been convicted of anything—they are potentially innocent people awaiting trial.One in five of these 10.35 million is incarcerated for drug-related offenses, 83 percent of this number for simple drug possession. As a whole, people from minority groups and Indigenous communities are caught up in criminal justice systems at dramatically disproportionate levels.

    This is not only a global human rights crisis. It is also a profound global threat to peace and community safety. 

  • No Plan B Because Plan A Cannot Fail: Understanding Western Donors Peacebuilding Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

    Date: Wednesday, 9 January 2019

    Seminar Title: 

    No Plan B Because Plan A Cannot Fail: Understanding Western Donors Peacebuilding Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

    Speaker: 

    Dr Mandy Turner, Kenyon Institute (Council for British Research in the Levant)

    Abstract: 

    The Oslo peace paradigm - which includes the governing and economic structures instituted by the agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel since 1993, as well as its ideological underpinnings and assumptions - has been remarkably resilient, despite the increasing regularity of epitaphs. This presentation assesses the role of western donors and multilateral organisations in creating  and sustaining this paradigm, and (based on extensive interviews with high-ranking western aid officials) what they think now, 25 years after the peace deal was signed, and 20 years after the interim period was supposed to end.

  • Xenophobia as a manifestation of hegemonic masculinities in South Africa

    Date: Tuesday, 2 October 2018

    Seminar Title: 

    Xenophobia as a manifestation of hegemonic masculinities in South Africa

    Speaker:

    Lauren October, Researcher at the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) at the Centre for Social Science Research.

    Abstract:

    While conducting a study on social cohesion and xenophobia in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, many of the reasons respondents gave for xenophobic violence seemed to be rooted in ideas of masculinity. In all the research sites there was an overwhelming perception that foreign nationals are taking things that belong to South Africans. However, this perception was dominant among the male population, and xenophobic resentment was mainly aimed towards male foreign nationals. This was especially evident within the Eastern Cape sites, which had predominantly Xhosa communities.  It could therefore be surmised that there was some link between xenophobia and the hegemonic masculinity present in the Eastern Cape. The purpose of my paper is to use ethnographic research in the form of qualitative interviews from Motherwell and Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape to find out how constructions of hegemonic masculinities at the local level can contribute to xenophobic resentment.

    Methods:

    The foundation for this research paper is based on a research project by The Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) of the University of Cape Town (UCT) who partnered with Freedom House USA to conduct a study on social cohesion and xenophobia in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. The fieldwork was conducted in two phases between April 2016 and June 2017. 

  • Violence Begets Violence: How Hitmen Transform the Taxi Industry and Empower Themselves

    Date: Tuesday, 15 May 2018

    Seminar Title:

    Violence Begets Violence: How Hitmen Transform the Taxi Industry and Empower Themselves

    Speakers:

    Azwi Netshikulwe & Ncedo Mngqibisa, Researchers at the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) at the Centre for Social Science Research.

    Abstract:

    The taxi industry in South Africa is estimated to be a multi-billion-rand industry that carries approximately 65% of the 2,5 billion annual passenger trips all over the country. However, this industry has been characterized by violent confrontations between competing owners and shaped by exclusion from the formal economy since its inception. While this industry is highly competitive and has lucrative routes, both in long and short distances it has been tainted by conflicts which result in death in most cases. Although taxi violence occurs in different forms, hitmen, commonly referred to as izinkabi (plural) or inkabi (singular), are hired to eliminate the rivals from the industry. Hiring izinkabi to eliminate someone is the most preferred method of solving the problems in the taxi industry environment and political sphere. In this context competing taxi associations sometimes cooperated with gangsters in their attempt to gain control over the most profitable transport routes. Consequently, power dynamic is slowly beginning to shift, the industry insiders who are the old guards are fearing for the worst in the near future. Despite previous studies in this industry since its booming years, taxi violence and killings proved to be a complex social phenomenon with many dimensions to it. Indeed, "the development of the taxi industry in South Africa reveals a complex narrative characterized by a mix of brutal violence, politics, and fierce competition". In this regard, this presentation only focuses on the activities of izinkabi and their relationship with the taxi industry in recent years. This will be achieved by contrasting their roles as well as relationships with the taxi industry in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

  • The role of taxi associations as agents of social control and community policing

    Date: Tuesday, 27 February 2018

    Seminar Title:

    The role of taxi associations as agents of social control and community policing

    Speakers:

    Azwi Netshikulwe & Ncedo Mngqibisa, Researchers at the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) at the Centre for Social Science Research.

    Abstract:

    The taxi industry in South Africa is notoriously known for being mirrored by violence and difficult to regulate from the law enforcement point of view. Ironically members of the taxi industry in the form of taxi association are known to play a role in community policing as an alternative to formal mechanism of maintaining order and building social cohesion. Our recent research in the taxi industry and xenophobic violence confirmed the extent of violence between rival associations, community groupings and the role of the taxi associations in community policing and social control. Given the well-known reported violence within the taxi industry, researched communities in selected areas seem to place their hopes on taxi associations to deal with crime and other problems facing their communities than the designated police and other formal structures. Within this context taxi associations use extra-legal means or violence to some extent as a form of community policing and social control. These initial findings and recognition of taxi associations makes this an opportune moment to consider what is currently known about the role of taxi associations as agents of social control and their activities in community policing.