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Emeritus professor in Politics, University of Johannesburg

Yolanda Sadie received an MA degree from the University of Stellenbosch and a PhD from the University of Cape Town. She holds the rank of professor. Her main academic interests are in political science, focusing on democracy and democratisation in Africa, gender politics as well as public policy-making.

Her most recent research project (with Prof Leila Patel - CSDA), completed in 2014, was on the voting behaviour of poor people in selected communities. Co-authored publications from this project include ‘A Comparative Case Study of the Voting Behaviour of Poor People in Three Selected South African Communities’ (Journal of African Elections, Vol. 15(1), 2016), and ‘Social Grants, Food Parcels and Voting Behaviour: A Case Study of Three South African Communities’ (Transformation, Vol. 91, 2016).

In 2010 she completed a project (with Prof M Schoeman (UP) on a comparison of the political attitudes and voting behaviour of university students at selected universities in the SADC region. Publications include a chapter ‘Student Perspectives on Issues of Governance in Southern African States: Some Implications for Development’ (in Affolderbach, J. et al. (eds) Reinforcing Governance: Perspectives on Development, Poverty and Global Crises. Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2012) and ‘The perceptions of students on democracy and issues of governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ (La perception de la démocratie par les étudiants en République démocratique du Congo’) (in Lesedi, No. 12 March, 2011, IFAS).

Other recent publications include ‘Gender policy and legislation during the first 20 years of democracy’ (Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol. 36(2), 2014) and ‘The State of Comparative Politics in South Africa’ in Politikon, Vol. 40(3) (2013).

Yolanda Sadie served as a member of the Council of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS); as Chair of the Research Committee “Women, Politics and Developing Nations” of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), and on the Council of the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA).

Over the years she has been a research fellow at the University of Panjab, Chandigarh (India) (Commonwealth Academic Exchange Fellowship), at the University of Austin in Texas and at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cambridge (Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship).

Prof. Sadie has supervised several MA dissertations and D Litt et Phil theses in Politics. (See the departmental list of completed theses D Litt et Phil theses and MA dissertations over the past five years for her recent completed supervision). Currently she is supervising theses and dissertations on themes such as: the political apathy of youth in Zimbabwe, party institutionalisation and coalition politics in Kenya and South Africa, and civil society and democracy in Cameroon.


  • –present
    Professor of Politics, SARChi African Diplomacy and Politics, University of Johannesburg


  • 1993 
    University of Cape Town, PhD ( Political Studies)