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Name: Heidi Brooks
Faculty of Humanities, Rated Researchers  Staff Members

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About Heidi Brooks


PhD Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand

MA Political Studies (cum laude), University of the Witwatersrand

BA (Hons) Development Studies (with minor Sociology) – first class, University of Leeds


Heidi obtained her PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 2015. She also holds an MA in Political Studies from Wits University and a BA Honours in Development Studies from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Heidi was awarded a Leverhulme Trust scholarship to carry out her doctoral research, examining the African National Congress’ (ANC) theory and practice of participatory democracy.

Her research interests lie in South African political history and public policy, democratic theory, liberation and mass movements and state-civil society relations. She has worked in both election research and project management.

Heidi joined the Research Chair Social Change in 2016 and is currently working on several publications, looking at the post-1994 participatory democratic project in South Africa, the development of democratic thought in the ANC’s Constitution Committee (1986-1990) and the ideological and intellectual heritage of 1980s people’s power.


Journal articles

Forthcoming. Brooks, H. ‘The Mass Movement and Public Policy: Discourses of Participatory Democracy in Post-1994 South Africa, Journal of Modern African Studies, 55 (1).

2004. Brooks, H. ‘The Dominant Party System: Challenges for South Africa’s Second Decade of Democracy’, Journal of African Elections, 3 (2), December 2004, EISA.

2004. Brooks, H. and S. Letsholo. ‘Political violence and Intimidation. Sofala: a cause for concern?’ Election Talk (13) May 2004, EISA.

Book Chapters

2014. Brooks, H. ‘The Idea of Organisational Renewal in the African National Congress’, in A. Butler (Ed). Remaking the ANC: Party Change in South Africa and the Global South. Johannesburg: Jacana.

Papers and Presentations

2016. Brooks, H. ‘Merging Radical and Liberal Traditions: The Constitution Committee and the Development of Democratic Thought in the African National Congress, 1986-1990. Paper presented at the Research Chair in Social Change Symposium, 22-24 June.

2012. Brooks, H. ‘From Rights to Revolution – Participation and Civil and Political Rights: The ANC of the 1940s-1960s’. Paper presented on the Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS) Panel: Rethinking Human Rights in Southern Africa at the African Studies Association UK Conference, 6 – 8 September 2012