I joined the University of Dundee in 2012 as a lecturer, having completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield (2008-2011).
My latest research focuses on Southern Africa’s former national liberation movements, and the ways in which the concept of a collective, regional solidarity in the struggle against white minority rule has been created and perpetuated. With a particular focus on the African National Congress (ANC), this research explores the role of ‘liberation solidarity’ and the ways in which the historical record and the realities of exile have been subsumed to serve current political demands. I aim to look beyond the collective amnesia of the regions’ movements, by exploring how the ‘official’ narrative has been constructed and trying to delve into the self-serving ‘myths’ propagated by these parties.
The next core research project will be on South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, in which I seek to explore further (based on previous research) the events and activities of the process and some of its political and societal outcomes. In doing so, I wish to provide further insights into this previously neglected period and to also chart the ways in which the transition continues to affect post-apartheid South Africa in a number of spheres. One way of contextualising these themes is through that of a long-transition, and moving away from the narrow, traditionally defined confines of the 1990-1994 period.
I have carried out previous research on the foreign policy of the ANC and its foreign policy, charting the continuities and discontinuities of its policies from exiled liberation movement to governing political party, 1960-2007. The core pivot of this project revolved around the transition process by exploring the opportunities and constraints this process had not only on the ANC, but also the post-apartheid government. In doing so, I sought to convey how the ANC created and developed its foreign policy ideals, not only against the experiences of exile, its hopes for the future, but also the constraints and influences of the transition process itself, as well as actors such as the apartheid era civil service and western governments.
In 2013, I became a Research Associate in the Centre for African Studies, at the University of the Free State in South Africa. This honorary position gives me a presence within South Africa, access to academics and resources there, and will allow me to establish links between our universities.