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Dr. Luke Sinwell

Dr. Luke Sinwell
Department of Sociology
Senior Lecturer

Contact Details
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, CRing 6

Luke Sinwell completed his B.A. in Anthropology at Hartwick College, New York in 2003. When he visited South Africa as an undergraduate, his imagination was captured by the political developments in the country and, thereafter, he never left.  Having completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Development Studies at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg in 2009, he has published widely on popular protest and radical theories and practices of participatory governance in South Africa. Luke's work highlights the role of ordinary people in social change and he believes that separating out theory from practice undermines the potential for knowledge to contribute towards transformation. He is a former General Secretary of the South African Sociological Association (SASA) and a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department.

 Articles and Book Chapters 

Sinwell, L. 2014.  "Turning Points at the Periphery: South Africa's Platinum Belt Strike Wave from Rustenburg, Northwest, to Northam, Limpopo. Journal of Southern African Studies.

Sinwell, L. 2015. "Disruptive Power and #Fees Must Fall at the University of the Free State". South African Review of Sociology.

Sinwell, L. "The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and The Struggle for a "Living Wage": A Dream Deferred or Fulfilled?", chapter in (eds) Changes and Continuities in Migrant Labour in South Africa, HSRC Press.


Sinwell, L. (with Siphiwe Mbatha). 2016. The Spirit of Marikana: The Rise of Insurgent Trade Unionism in South Africa. Pluto Press, London, distributed by Chicago University Press, Chicago and published by Wits University Press, Johannesburg: 2016.

Co-edited books

Paret, M., Runciman, C. and Sinwell, L. 2017. Global Resistance in Southern Perspective: The Politics of South Africa's Contentious Democracy. Routledge, London and New York.

Ngwane, T., Sinwell, L. and Ness, I. 2017. Urban Revolt: State Power and the Rise of People's Movements in the Global South. Haymarket Books, Chicago and Wits University Press, Johannesburg.

Dawson, M. and Sinwell, L. 2012. Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First-Century South Africa. Published by Pluto Press, London.

Alexander, P. Lekgowa, T., Mmope, B., Sinwell, L, Xezwi, B. 2012. Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer. Published by Jacana, Bookmarks, London: 2012 and Ohio University Press: 2013.