The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences has a strong focus in applied research and has a number of specialised research units including the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), the Entrepreneurship Development Unit (EDU), the Institute for Social Development (ISD), the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE) and the EMS Student Support and Research Unit (ESSRU).

Electronic theses and dissertations are available in the Electronic Theses and Dissertations Repository .


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  • Without the blanket of the land: agrarian change and biopolitics in post–Apartheid South Africa 

    du Toit, Andries (Routledge, 2018)
    This paper connects Marxist approaches to the agrarian political economy of South Africa with post-Marshallian and Foucauldian analyses of distributional regimes and late capitalist governmentality. Looking at South ...
  • The membership problem in people-centred approaches to natural resource management in Southern Africa 

    Matose, Frank; Mandondo, Alois; Mosimane, Alfons; Aribeb, Karl; Chikozho, Claudious; Jones, Mike (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2006)
    Who should qualify to be a member of a natural resource management (NRM) programme in Southern Africa with the attendant benefits and responsibilities? In Zimbabwe, membership of such programmes could be described as ...
  • Land and resources in a transfrontier setting 

    Büscher, Bram (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2005)
    Amongst the many initiatives in legislative and policy change affecting land and common property resource management in Southern Africa today, transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) seem particularly prominent because ...
  • Will formalising property rights reduce poverty in South Africa’s ‘second economy’? 

    Cousins, Ben; Cousins, Tessa; Hornby, Donna; Kingwill, Rosalie; Royston, Lauren; Smit, Warren (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2005)
    De Soto’s influential book The mystery of capital offers a simple yet beguiling message: capitalism can be made to work for the poor, through formalising their property rights in houses, land and small businesses. This ...
  • From ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ to a people-driven land reform 

    Lahiff, Edward (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2005)
    The concept of ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ has dominated the discourse on land reform in South Africa since 1994. Now, following the national Land Summit of July 2005, it appears that government is willing to abandon ...
  • Different realities and narrow responses in a shifting agricultural system 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2013-09)
    Protests by farm workers in De Doorns in the Hex River Valley of the Western Cape in November 2012 – and the subsequent responses by organised agriculture, as well as attempts by unions to support the workers –illustrate ...
  • Land redistribution: Part of a wider agrarian reform strategy 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2012-09)
    An emerging and increasingly more prominent debate amid the considerations of a new White Paper, following the Green Paper process, which will set the legal framework for land reform and agrarian transformation, is whether ...
  • Reintroducing the contentious Traditional Courts Bill 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2012-05)
    When the Traditional Courts Bill [B15-2008] was first introduced in 2008 it was widely criticised for the nature and extent of judicial functions consigned to senior traditional leaders — and for the extent to which the ...
  • Evictions from farms – the role of local government 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2011-06)
    Recently, land reform has gained greater prominence in public debates, notably with the latest call for the nationalisation of land, which has been met with mixed responses. The call highlights why the need for nationalisation ...
  • Management of some commons in southern Africa: Implications for policy 

    Atkinson, Doreen; Taylor, Michael; Matose, Frank (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2006)
    Profound transformations in communal land tenure systems are taking place in parts of southern Africa that have resulted from decades of interventions, particularly the shrinking of the commonage through capture of extensive ...
  • Outcomes of community engagement in community-based natural resource management programmes 

    Madzudzo, Elias; HaBarad, Jonathan; Matose, Frank (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2006)
    Although the last century has witnessed exciting strategies in resource management in the form of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), these developments are more incremental than revolutionary. CBNRM falls ...
  • Challenges and prospects for trans-boundary fisheries in Lakes Chiuta and Kariba 

    Whande, Webster; Malasha, Isaac; Njaya, Friday (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2006)
    Community-based conservation (CBC) is a prominent feature of conservation and development policy and practice in southern Africa. It is a generic concept defining different configurations of controlling access to and use ...
  • South African fisheries reform – past, present and future? 

    Isaacs, Moenieba; Hara, Mafaniso; Nielsen, Jesper Raakjar (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2004)
    Two approaches to transformation of the South African fishery industry were adopted after the advent of democracy: the broadening of access rights to new rights holders (individuals and companies) through state intervention ...
  • Rethinking rural transformation in South Africa 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2011-05)
    In this edition we describe a civil society workshop convened by the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) and the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) entitled ‘Re-thinking Rural Transformation in South ...
  • A focus on vulnerability and inequality in national conferences 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2011-01)
    Since the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) held its National Summit on Vulnerable Workers in Somerset-West outside Cape Town to discuss better conditions for workers in the agriculture, ...
  • Common property resources and privatisation trends in Southern Africa 

    Saruchera, Munyaradzi; Fakir, Saliem (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2004)
    Access to common property resources (CPRs) is a significant part of the land resource base and therefore the livelihoods of many poor rural people. However, despite their central importance, CPRs are declining throughout ...
  • Community conservancies in Namibia: An effective institutional model for commons management? 

    Skyer, Patricia; Saruchera, Munyaradzi (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2004)
    Common property resources (CPRs) remain of great significance for livelihoods among rural and poor communities of the world. CPRs are particularly important because in many contexts they remain resources of last resort ...
  • Budgeting for land reform 

    Hall, Ruth; Lahiff, Edward (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2004)
    The primary purpose of land reform in South Africa is to redistribute agricultural and other land in order to address the racially skewed pattern of landholding and promote development. Slow progress in land reform over ...
  • National and provincial government spending on agriculture 

    PLAAS (PLAAS, 2010-12)
    By the end of 2010, the new policy direction for land reform has not been clear. The minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, announced that a Green Paper on Rural Development and Agrarian Transformation, ...
  • Civil society and social movements: Advocacy for land and resource rights in Africa 

    Saruchera, Munyaradzi; Odhiambo, Michael O (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2004)
    Civil society formations in Africa have historically played an important part in the establishment of organising people in the pursuit of common goals. The majority of Africa’s people reside in rural areas where they ...

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