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About the Global Risk Governance Programme

The Global Risk Governance programme (GRG) is a research programme, led by Professor Clifford Shearing, within the Institute for Safety Governance and Criminology, Law Faculty at the University of Cape Town. The programme's research activities are focused on understanding the new, and emerging, risk landscapes that are shaping 21st Century securities. Of particular concern are the environmental insecurities associated with the impacts of industrialisation on earth systems. A defining feature of the GRG's research is its regulatory focus, the interdisciplinary nature of its research teams and its collaborative approach. 

GRGP Projects

1. Sustainable Energy Systems in Emerging Economies.  This project seeks to understand the factors shaping electrical energy generation, and distribution, within the BASIC countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa).  Electrical energy constitutes a crucial security across the globe.  A particular focus of the project is the learning that can be gleaned from comparative developments within these countries that can assist South Africa in realising both electrical energy security and ecological security.  The research is a collaboration between the GRG and the Department of Administration and Organisational Theory at the University of Bergen.  The research is being undertaken by researchers drawn from UCT (the GRG and the Energy Research Centre), Bergen University,  Bergen University College, Griffith University, Peking University, the University of New South Wales and WWF, South Africa.  Two team members are based at the University of Montreal.  The principal disciplinary capacities supporting the research  are criminology, law and political science.  The Project is supported by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). Read more >>>

2.  Fulcrum Institutions for Socio-Ecological Resilience.  This project is focused on understanding the ways in which institutions that are affected by environmental insecurities, and who have a significant regulatory reach are responding to these insecurities.  The project is focused, in particular, on insurance, fisheries, agriculture and municipalities as fulcrum institutions.  The project’s geographic focus is South Africa.   Team members' disciplinary backgrounds include environmental governance, ecology and criminology.  Partners include UCT's African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), Griffith University and WWF, South Africa. The project is supported by the South African National Research Foundation’s Global Change, Society and Sustainability (GCGC) programme. Read more >>>

 3. Development and Risk.  This project is exploring the impacts of bio-psycho-social processes, especially those in early life,  on developments across the life course.  The project seeks to better understand the impacts of epigenetic processes for developmental trajectories, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of developmental and public health interventions.  The project is guided by an understanding of regulatory processes that transcends the established bio-social divide.  A particular focus of the research is on early childhood adversity and its disruptive effects on human cognitive, emotional and social developments.  The disciplinary capacities that the project is utilising include neuro-biology and criminology.  Start-up funding for this project is provided by the GRG. Read more >>>

4. Environmental Futures programme.  This project is an  initiative of the Institute for Safety Governance and Criminology. The project’s focus is on understanding the nature, and governance, of the global wildlife trade (both legal and illegal) and its impacts on bio-diversity and political economies.  The project’s principal disciplinary capacities include criminology, political science and sociology.  Read more >>>

5. Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative.  This is a social responsibility focused project, supported by, and undertaken in conjunction with, the Mauerberger Foundation.  The project supports young leaders, of exceptional ability, who are already realising outcomes that advance environmental sustainability and who are at a point in their careers where they will benefit from support that enhances their leadership capacities.  Current EESI Fellows include young leaders working with Beyond Expectations Environmental Project (BEEP).  The project is supported by a science communicator with a disciplinary background in Chemistry. Read more >>>

6. Ports of Call: Understanding Transnational Security Network. The theme of this international comparative research project, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), is transnational security networks and the flows of goods and people they protect. This project is undertaken together with Prof. Marleen Easton, University of Ghent, Belgium who leads the project and Philip Stenning, (School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University). It examines, in particular, the role played by private security providers, and the networked security arrangements they are part of, through the lens of the ports of Antwerp and Brisbane.
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7. African Security Governance: Harnessing the capacities of security nodes

The African Security Governance research programme is a joint initiative of the Institute for Safety Governance and Security, and the GRG. Given that policing on the continent has always been plural the aim of the programme is to find ways in which to harness the capacities of security nodes (civil, private and public sector) in ways which provide for the public good by contributing to the improvement of safety and security. The programme’s objective is to undertake research that explores conditions that promote policing for the public good. Read more >>>

8. Neighbourhood Safety

The Global Risk Governance programme is supporting the City of Cape Town’s Neighbourhood Policing Initiative through providing expert guidance and support.  Read more >>>

9.  Companies Partnering with Municipalities for Local Development and Resilience

Enhancing local economic development and resilience. Companies partnership with municipalities. A collaborative project.  Read more >>>