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Prof Carin Runciman

Name: Carin Runciman
Location: House 5, Research Village (APB), C Ring 614 (APK) Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
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Tel: (0)11 559 1918


Curriculum Vitae Carin Runciman

About Prof Carin Runciman


Carin Runciman is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a Y1-rated researcher specialising in the analysis of post-apartheid collective action by the NRF. Born in Johannesburg but raised in Glasgow, United Kingdom, her funny accent doesn’t seem to put too many students off her teaching. Her research specializes in working-class mobilisation post-apartheid with a particular focus on community protest and precarious work. Most recently, she has been the Co-PI on the UJ/HSRC Covid-19 Democracy survey, an ongoing cross-sectional survey among adults living in South Africa to determine the social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. She has published widely in local and international journals. She combines her scholarship with social justice activism and is a management committee member of the Casual Workers Advice Office.


PhD, Sociology, University of Glasgow
MA (Hons) Sociology (First Class), University of Glasgow

Research interests

  • Social movements
  • Protests
  • Precarious work
  • Labour movements
  • Working-class politics and South African politics
  • Election politics

Selected publications

Runciman, C. and Hlungwani, K. 2022. Organising against precarity: The life of a South African labour broker worker. Work, Employment and Society 36(3): 557-568.

Dor, L. and Runciman, C. 2022. Precarious workers and the Labour Process: Problematizing the Core/Non-core. Global Labour Journal 13(1): 20-40.

Runciman, C. 2021. Worker rights and the neoliberal state under Covid-19. South African Journal of Human Rights 37(2): 255-276

Brooks, H., Ngwane, T. and Runciman, C. 2020. Decolonising and Re-theorising the Meaning of Democracy: A South African Perspective. The Sociological Review 68(1): 17-32.

Englert, T. and Runciman, C. 2019. Challenging workplace inequality: precarious workers’ institutional and associational power in Gauteng, South Africa. Transformation 101: 84-104

Runciman, C., Bekker, M. and Maggott, T. 2019. Voting Preferences of Protesters and Nonprotestors in The South African Elections (2014 – 2019): Revisiting the ‘Ballot and the Brick’. Politikon 46(4): 390-410

Runciman, C. 2019. Rolling Back the Right to Strike: Amendments to South Africa’s Labour Relations Act and their Implications for Working-class Struggle. Review of African Political Economy 46(160): 347-356

Runciman, C. 2019. The “Double-edged Sword” of Institutional Power: COSATU, Neoliberalisation and the Right to Strike. Global Labour Journal, 10(2):142-158.

Alexander, P., Runciman, C., Ngwane, T., Moloto, B., Mokgele, K. and van Staden, N. 2018. Frequency and turmoil: South Africa’s community protests 2005–2017, South African Crime Quarterly, 63: 27-42.

Roberts, B.J., Bohler-Muller, N., Struwig, J., Gordon, S.L., Mchunu, N., Mtyingizane, S., & Runciman, C. 2017. ‘Protest blues: Public opinion on the policing of protests in South Africa’ South African Crime Quarterly 62:63-80.

Runciman, C. 2016. ‘The ‘ballot and the brick’: Protest, voting and non-voting in postapartheid South Africa’ Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 34(4): 419-436

Alexander, P., Runciman, C. & Maruping, B. 2016. ‘The Incident Registration Information System (IRIS) and protests: use and abuse in the measurement of protest activity’, South African Crime Quarterly, 58. 9-21.

Paret, M. & Runciman, C. 2016. ‘The South African Uprising 2009-2012’, Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, 19(3). 301-319.

Runciman, C. 2016. ‘Mobilising in precarious times: South Africa’s ‘Rebellion of the Poor’ International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 36(9/10): 613-628.

Runciman, C. 2015. ‘The decline of the Anti-Privatisation Forum in the midst of South Africa’s ‘rebellion of the poor’ Current Sociology, 63(7): 961-979.

Runciman, C. 2014. ‘Mobilising insurgent citizenship: forging local authority and everyday policing in Protea Court’ South African Review of Sociology, 45(1): 27-44

Runciman, C. 2014. Can rights-based activism be transformative? Analysing grassroots mobilisation in the Anti-Privatisation Forum’ Transformation, 84 :(1) 31-52

Runciman, C. 2011. ‘Response to Luke Sinwell: Re-examining counter-hegemonic politics in post-apartheid South Africa’ Review of African Political Economy, 38(130): 607-614

Book chapters

Runciman, C. 2017. ‘South African social movements in the neoliberal age’ In Paret, M., Runciman, C. & Sinwell, L. (eds). Southern Resistance in Critical Perspective: The Politics of Protest in South Africa’s Contentious Democracy. Abingdon: Routledge. 36-52.

Runciman, C. 2016. ‘Citizenship and inequality in post-apartheid South Africa: Contours and collective responses’ In Machin, A. & Nico Stehr (eds.), Understanding Inequality: Social Costs and Benefits. Wiesbaden: Springer. 383-402

Runciman, C. 2012. ‘Resisting privatisation: exploring contradictory consciousness in the Anti-Privatisation Forum’ In Dawson, M.C. & Sinwell, L. (eds) Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First Century South Africa, London: Pluto Press. 166: 182.