Staff Members

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Luke Sinwell Uj Website

Name: Luke Sinwell
Location: C Ring 6 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Centre for Sociological Research and Practice Staff, Department of Sociology, Rated Researchers  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 011 559 4268


About Prof. Luke Sinwell


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 PhD 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 a theory from practice undermines the potential for knowledge to contribute to transformation. He is a former General Secretary of the South African Sociological Association (SASA). An Associate Professor in the Sociology Department, he is the Project Coordinator of the Centre for Sociological Research and Practice (CSRP), UJ, which is currently undertaking research called, “Energy Racism: The South African Electricity Crisis.”

Forthcoming Book

Sinwell, L. 2022. The Participation Paradox: Between Top-down and Bottom-up Development in South Africa. McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal.

Recent Articles

Sinwell, L. 2022. “Workers’ Power in Marikana: Building Bridges of Solidarity in South Africa’s Platinum Mines (2012-2014)”. JEP Journal. Special Issue “Scaling Up? Transnational labour organising in globalised production.

Sinwell, L. 2022. Teaching and Learning Paulo Freire: South Africa’s Communities of Struggle. Education as Change. 1-19.

Sinwell, L. 2019. “The #Fees Must Fall Movement: ‘Disruptive Power’ and the Politics of Student-Worker Alliances at the University of the Free State (2015-2016)”. South African Review of Sociology, 50 (3-4).

Sinwell, L. 2019. “Turning Points at the Periphery: The Politics of South Africa’s Platinum Belt Strike Wave from Rustenburg, Northwest, to Northam, Limpopo (2012-2014)”. Journal of Southern African Studies, 45(1).

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), Bank, L. Changes and Continuities in Migrant Labour in South Africa, HSRC Press, Cape Town: 2020.

Open sources

Sinwell, L. 2022 Daily Maverick Op Ed. published today

Sinwell, L. 2022. News24 Op Ed. published today

Book review

Sinwell, L. 2022. Education as Change, Book Review (attached): Concealing the Corporate University:


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.

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 and Ohio University Press