Events and Seminars:
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Otto Krause 2014
UJ Department of Politics and International Relations Seminar
“Is the state of Iraq falling apart?”
SPEAKER: Dr Benjamin Isakhan
DATE: Tuesday, 5th August 2014
VENUE: C-ring 3 –
Faculty of Humanities, Common Room
RSVP ON OR BEFORE: 3 August 2014 to Ms Rae Israel x 2896 or
Dr Benjamin Isakhan
is an Australian Research Council Discovery (DECRA) Senior Research Fellow at
the Centre for Citizenship, and Convenor of the Australian Middle East
Research Forum at Deakin University. Dr Isakhan is the author of Democracy in Iraq: History, Politics and
Discourse (Ashgate, 2012). Ben is also the editor of The Secret History of Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
), The Arab Revolutions in
Context: Civil Society and Democracy in a Changing Middle East (Melbourne
University Press, 2012), Democracy and
Crisis: Democratising Governance in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan,
2014) and The Edinburgh Companion to
the History of Democracy (Edinburgh University Press & Columbia
University Press, 2015 ). Broadly, his research interests concern
issues such as: Democracy in Iraq, the history of democracy, cultural
heritage of the Middle East and Middle Eastern politics and history. Ben’s
current research includes the ARC-funded project ‘Measuring the Destruction
of Heritage and Spikes of Violence in Iraq’ (DE120100315) which involves
several field trips to Iraq.
POLITICS HONOURS STUDENTS!!
left: Noxolo Gwala; Grace Bingoto-Mandoko and Simon Gray
UJ represented itself
proudly at the 8th Annual African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Young Graduates and Scholars (AYGS) Conference, hosted by the UJ Arts Centre
from 16-19 February. As part of the conference 15 students from across South
Africa competed in a Model UN debate challenge, entitled, Going Green:
Eco-awareness or eco-unwillingness. Three UJ Politics Honours students competed
in the debate and presented their country’s position on the topic: Noxolo Gwala
(Azerbaijan); Grace Bingoto-Mandoko (France) and Simon Gray (the Russian
federation). Congratulations to Noxolo
Gwala and Simon Gray who won first and second place respectively in the debate!
Dr S Graham (UN Debate Facilitator)
Senior Lecturer, UJ Politics Department.
The Rule of Law and Accountability - Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s Visit to UJ
Article and picture by Nezo Sobekwa (Third year International Studies student and tutor at the Department of Politics)
On the 26th of September 2013, the first year Politics class at the University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Campus, were privileged to receive a lecture from Dr Ramphele.
The founder of Agang, which loosely translated means ‘to build’, and which is set to participate for the first time in next year's elections, spoke on the subject matter of ‘The Rule of Law’. This message stressed to a large degree the importance of the separation of powers principle; an important lesson for her audience particularly as the majority of them will be voting for the first time next year.
She demonstrated, citing present day examples such as scandals surrounding the hiring of seemingly unqualified officials into public offices and the secrecy bill proposal, the extent to which this principle can be abused when the boundaries between judiciary, legislature and executive are not respected. She then went on to highlight, according to her perspective, just how undermined our democracy is in light of such abuses.
An informative lecture which left students thinking critically about the quality of their leadership and by extension the power of their vote. It was warmly received by many, but also sternly challenged by a few who questioned her own leadership decisions and integrity in past positions. To this end these challenges presented Dr Ramphele with the opportunity to become accountable for her own actions. This allowed for a practical demonstration of an accountable leader, thus working to the aid of her presentation.
An enlightening lecture for some, an inspiring one for others, all in all a very rich visit with education the victor. It is only fitting then to sum up this experience in her own words:
"My responsibility is to educate the next generation" - Dr Ramphele.
Dr Ramphele signs a copy of her book, Conversations with My Sons and Daughters, as Zinhle Manzini, a Politics Assistant, looks on.