Current Institutional Affiliation
Senior Researcher, African Center for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2013
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
African Centre for Migration &Society, University of the Witwatersrand
Migration, Governance and Violent Exclusion: Exploring the Politics of Xenophobic Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Xenophobic violence has become a prominent feature in post-Apartheid South Africa and efforts to explain its causes and meanings have intensified after the unprecedented violence outbreak of May 2008. However current explanations, focusing mainly on broad political, historical, structural, economic and generalized attitudinal factors do not adequately explain the occurrence of violence as they falter when faced with empirical or logical interrogation. Through a qualitative comparative and interpretive multi-case study methodological approach (drawing on empirical data from 11 research sites) and a micro-level analysis of the drivers of the violence, the study reveals critical, theoretically informed and empirically grounded, insights into the proximate causes and triggers of the violence. By doing so, the study not only identifies missing critical elements of the violence causal chain, but also contributes to the general literature of collective violence by drawing our analytic attention to the often ignored localized political economy and micro-level processes.