S09E02: Adam Habib on South Africa’s Elections 

This episode explores the imme­di­ate con­se­quences of South Africa’s recent par­lia­men­tary elec­tions and the his­tor­i­cal tra­jec­to­ry of the African Nation­al Con­gress. How does a vibrant sphere of civ­il soci­ety activism play a role in the coun­try? And what is to be learned from the “FeesMust­Fall” protests against the attempt­ed restruc­tur­ing of high­er edu­ca­tion? Lis­ten to hear about the prospects for address­ing South Africa’s struc­tur­al and geopo­lit­i­cal challenges.

Guest fea­tured on this episode:

Adam Habib is the Direc­tor of the School of Ori­en­tal and African Stud­ies (SOAS) in Lon­don. Before join­ing SOAS in 2021, he served as the Vice Chan­cel­lor and Prin­ci­pal of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wit­wa­ter­srand in Johan­nes­burg, South Africa, which he helped trans­form into a flour­ish­ing home of aca­d­e­m­ic excel­lence and world class research dur­ing his eight-year tenure. Pri­or to that, Habib was Deputy Vice Chan­cel­lor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Johan­nes­burg, Research Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Civ­il Soci­ety at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Natal and is one of the co-founders of the African Research Uni­ver­si­ties Alliance. He has been elect­ed to the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Arts and Sci­ences, the African Acad­e­my of Sci­ence, and the Acad­e­my of Sci­ence of South Africa.

He fur­ther serves in the Coun­cil of the Unit­ed Nations Uni­ver­si­ty. A pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence, Adam Habib has pub­lished numer­ous edit­ed books and arti­cles on democ­ra­ti­za­tion and con­sol­i­da­tion in South Africa, con­tem­po­rary social move­ments, inequal­i­ty, phil­an­thropy, pover­ty alle­vi­a­tion, devel­op­ment and insti­tu­tion­al reform in South Africa and beyond. His book, “South Africa’s Sus­pend­ed Rev­o­lu­tion: Hopes and Prospects”, pub­lished in 2013, pro­vides a syn­op­tic overview of the first two decades of post-apartheid South African democ­ra­cy. In 2019, he pub­lished “Rebels and Rage: Reflect­ing on #FeesMust­Fall”, a reflec­tion on the stu­dent protests that shook South Africa between 2015 and 2017.


Shalini Randeria

Shalini Randeria is Rector and President of the Central European University (Vienna/Budapest). Before, she was Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and Rector of the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna from 2014 to 2021. She has published widely on the anthropology of globalisation, law, the state and social movements. Her empirical research on India also addresses issues of post-coloniality and multiple modernities.