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Students include PhDs and Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Current Masters students: 

Kelly Fortune. A Critical Review of the Political Economy of Cannabis in South Africa, its Regulation, and Legal Status.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Annette Hubschle and Simon Howell

Mary-Ann Baever. Challenges faced by Law Enforcement Officials in Human Trafficking investigations: The case of Botswana.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Annette Hubschle

Matthew Skade. Captive Riders: Safety and Crime in Cape Town Public Transport Interchange

University of Cape Town. Supervision: Julie Berg & Clifford Shearing

Mireille Wenger. Public Accountability Mechanisms for Private Sector Policing: Accountability within and beyond the South African Constitutional Framework

University of Cape Town. Supervision: Julie Berg & Clifford Shearing

Olga Biegus. Securitisation in conservation in South Africa: The case of rhinoceros anti-poaching.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Annette Hubschle

Trevor R. Corbett. The Honest Thief: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Ethics of Clandestine Intelligence Collection in a Statutory Environment

University of Cape Town. Supervision: Julie Berg & Clifford Shearing

Current PhD students: 

Elkanah Babatunde 2017.  The Impact of Multilateral Treaties on Transborder Policing and Policies.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Danwood Chirwa & Clifford Shearing 

Helena Chung. Ongoing. The Interrelationship between Crime and Immigration in South Africa: Understanding Conflict between Locals and Foreigners in Affected and Unaffected Areas by Xenophobic Violence in Cape Town.

University of Cape Town. Supervision: Clifford Shearing 

Mafaro Kasipo. Ongoing. Hybrid Governance in the Global South: A Case Study of Collusion in the South African Construction Industry

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Julie Berg & Annette Hubschle

Melani van der Merwe. Completed. An In-Depth Exploration of the Networks of Private Sector Governance in the Changing Electricity Market in South Africa

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing (UCT) and Jan Froestad (University of Bergen)

Saul Roux. Ongoing. Sustainable Transitions in Cities in the Global South: A Case Study of the City.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing and Zarina Patel

Recent PhD graduates  


Guy Lamb. 2017.  Jagged Blue Frontiers: The Police and the Policing of Boundaries in South Africa.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Elrena van der Spuy and Clifford Shearing

Irvin Kinnes. 2017. Contested Governance: Police and Gang Interactions.

University of Cape Town. Supervision: Clifford Shearing and Elrena van der Spuy


Annette Hubschle. 2016. A Game of Horns: Illegal Economic Exchange in Rhinoceros Horn.

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies/ University of Cologne.   Supervision: Clifford Shearing, University of Cape Town and Jens Beckert, University of Cologne

Annette's dissertation focuses on the resilience of illegal wildlife markets. The thesis explores why the rhino has not been better protected despite the myriad measures employed to disrupt the market.  Central to the analysis is the concept of “contested illegality”.  This concept is used to explore how the valuation of the rhino, and its horn, shapes the resilience of the global market in rhino horn. 

Current position: Postdoctoral researcher, Institute for Safety Governance & Criminology, University of Cape Town


Julie Berg. 2015. Polycentric Security Governance: Legitimacy, Accountability and the Public Interest.

University of Cape Town.   Supervision: Clifford Shearing

Julie's thesis examines how power is constituted in hybrid polycentric systems of security governance. In particular, the thesis explores how legitimacy – as a form of power – is configured in Improvement Districts in South Africa.  The thesis demonstrates how legitimacy originates from multiple sources within polycentric security governance systems.  The analysis challenges the tendency to associate democratic legitimacy with states.  

Current position: Associate Professor in the Department of Public Law and Director of the Institute for Safety Governance & Criminology.

Moliehi Shale. 2015. Resilience and Risk in the Informal Economy: A Study in the Regulation of Flooding. 

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing (UCT) and Tanja Börzel (Freie Universitat)

Moliehi's thesis considers the role of civic associations as informal “insurers” within “areas of limited statehood”.  The research explored the responses of small business owners living in informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa to flooding events that disrupted their businesses.  The thesis contributes to understandings of the lived reality of people living within informal settlements as well as to understandings of the informal governance processes that are developed within these contexts.

Current position: Consultant, Researcher in climate change adaptation and environmental risk governance, Share Value Africa.

Suzall Timm. 2015.  Modalities of Regulation in the Informal Economy: A Study of in Waste Collectors in Cape Town.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing 

Suzall examines how informal economic activities are regulated in cities. She focuses on the conditions that enable and constrain informal waste work on the streets of Cape Town. She demonstrates how multiple arrangements of formal-informal and human-nonhuman relations organise the daily social lives of those operating in informal economies. The thesis provides a better understanding of how urban social order is created and contested: first by embracing a broad conception of agency; second, by demonstrating that agency is distributed across the human-nonhuman divide. 

Current position: Postdoctoral researcher,   University of the Western Cape , "Food, Politics and Cultures: Exploring Humanities Approaches" programme.

Tom Herbstein. 2015.  Insurance and the Anthropocene: Like a Frog in Hot Water. 

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing

This thesis explores the impact of global environmental change on the commercial insurance industry. It examines how commercial insurers have responded to the significant losses. The research extends existing analyses of how commercial insurers have responded to the limitations of their existing risk assessment tools.    The future role of insurance, as society’s primary financial risk manager, is examined.  

Current position: Programme manager, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).


Amanda Alexander. 2014. The Idea of the Civilian in International Law.

Australian National University.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing and Hilary Charlesworth, ANU

Amanda's thesis deals with three interconnected themes: the history of the civilian; the discipline of international humanitarian law; and the nature of legal change. It explores these themes through a focus on the changing nature of the civilian as a legal category.  The thesis traces the history of the civilian as a way of understanding international humanitarian law as a discipline. 

Current position: Lecturer in the Thomas More Academy of Law, Australian Catholic University, North Sydney. 

Esther Thomas. 2014. Sustainable conflict management by multinational mining companies in areas of limited statehood. 

Freie University, Berlin.   Supervision: Clifford Shearing (UCT) and Tania Borzel, Freie University, Berlin

Esther’s explores the corporate social responsibility strategies of multinationals mining companies in areas of limited statehood. Through research undertaken in Tanzania and South Africa it explores the conditions that have shaped these strategies and the impacts of these strategies on their engagements with communities affected by their operations.  

Current position: Research Associate, Freie University, Berlin.

Laura Drivdal. 2014. The Politics of Informal Settlement Leadership: Ambiguities of Speaking Publicly and Mediating Conflicting Organizational Logics.

University of Cape Town.   Supervision: Clifford Shearing, Jan Froestad, Bergen University, Norway

Laura's thesis contributes to urban theory grappling with South African neighbourhood politics, leadership and organising. The thesis’ analytic insights are based on three years of field work in three of Cape Town’s informal settlement.  The analysis investigates how plural practises, ideals, and behavioural discourses inform political negotiations around leadership.

Current Position:  Adviser, Centre for the Study of the Science and the Humanities, University of Bergen.

Sophie Nakueira. 2014. New Architectures of Governance: Transnational Private Actors, Enrolment Strategies and the Security Governance of Sports Mega Events.

University of Cape Town.  Supervision: Clifford Shearing

Sophie Nakueira’s thesis examines how transnational private actors enrol state and non-state providers of governance to achieve safety objectives. Its empirical focus is the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  The thesis demonstrates how FIFA used self-governing contracts  to enrol the host state as well as non-state actors.  The analysis demonstrates how both state and private sector actors were instrumental in coordinating and providing security for the World Cup.

Current position: Research Fellow at Max Planck Research Institute, Halle, 2017 - February 2019.  She is also a Research Fellow in the Global Risk Governance programme.

Tariro Mutongwizo. 2014. Contours of non-state governance: Encountering states in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

University of Cape Town.   Supervision: Clifford Shearing

Tariro's thesis explores how non-state governance systems operate within areas of limited statehood. This was done through a comparative analysis based on fieldwork within Cape Town, South Africa and Harare, Zimbabwe. The analysis investigates the conditions that promote and hinder social support organisations.

Current position: Postdoctoral researcher, Griffith University. 

Postdoctoral Students

Annette Hubschle. 2017 - Environmental Futures Programme. Institute for Safety Governance & Criminology, University of Cape Town. Supervision: Clifford Shearing.

Louise Du Toit. 2017 - Climate Change Mitigation and Insurance. University of Cape Town. Supervision: Cameron Holley, University of New South Wales, Sydney; Liam Phelan, University of Newcastle; Clifford Shearing.

Nick Simpson. 2017 - Resilience and the 3 New Worlds, University of Cape Town. Supervision: Clifford Shearing.

Tariro Mutongwizo. 2017 - Resilient Communities Programme. Griffith University. Supervision: Clifford Shearing and Philip Stenning.

Cameron Harrington 2014 – 15 Fulcrum Institutions Programme, GRG, University of Cape Town.  Current position: Assistant Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. Global Risk Governance programme, Research Fellow.

Samantha Peterson 2013 – 14. Fulcrum Institutions Programme, GRG, University of Cape Town.  Current position: Environmental Outcomes Adviser, World Wide Fund for Nature.