Publication: South African Parties Hardly Politicise Immigration in Their Electoral Manifestos

I’m happy to announce that my article on the positions South African parties take on immigration in their electoral manifestos is now properly published. It features political partices and the rainbow nation!

Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘South African Parties Hardly Politicise Immigration in Their Electoral Manifestos’. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies 46 (2): 206–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/02589346.2019.1608713.

New publication: How South African Parties Do Not Politicize Immigration in Their Manifestos

I am happy to announce a new publication on how South African parties do not politicize immigration in their electoral manifestos, despite many indications that we can expect them to do so. In a country where xenophobia appears widespread, we can expect political parties to politicize immigration and take positions against immigrants.

In this paper, I wanted to do two things. On a methodological side, I wanted to know whether the approaches to coding electoral manifestos we have developed in the context of European parties works elsewhere. I have applied them to the US context, but South Africa would provide a tougher test. The keyword tests worked fine, and the qualitative discussions with colleagues were encouraging to press on. On a substantive side, I wanted to know whether South African parties as parties drive politicization, or whether individual politicians do so. The systematic analysis of the electoral manifestos reveals that parties as organizations do not politicize much against immigrants and immigration. In this sense, we cannot find evidence for this supposedly perverse upshot of the post-apartheid nation-building project where parties would politicize against immigrants to bolster internal cohesion: not parties as formal organizations. From other research and the media we know, though, that individual politicians certainly play a role in politicizing immigration in South Africa.

Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘South African Parties Hardly Politicise Immigration in Their Electoral Manifestos’. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies 46 (1). https://doi.org/10.1080/02589346.2019.1608713.

Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘Attitudes to Immigrants in South Africa: Personality and Vulnerability’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45 (7): 1108–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1428086.

Ruedin, Didier, and Laura Morales. 2018. ‘Estimating Party Positions on Immigration: Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Different Methods’. Party Politics OnlineFirst. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068817713122.

Now in print: Attitudes to immigrants in South Africa: personality and vulnerability

I’m happy to announce that my article on attitudes to immigrants/foreigners in South Africa has finally made it into print. Most of the academic literature on the topics focuses on the Western world; here I show that the same mechanisms seem to apply more generally.

Part of the motivation for this article is quite topical at the moment: the common view in South Africa that we cannot discern patterns in who is more opposed to immigrants, and the view that South Africa is somehow an exceptional case. Another motivation was to test the validity of the work we do on Western countries.

Heerden, Sjoerdje van, and Didier Ruedin. 2019. ‘How Attitudes towards Immigrants Are Shaped by Residential Context: The Role of Neighbourhood Dynamics, Immigrant Visibility, and Areal Attachment’. Urban Studies 56 (2): 317–334. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098017732692.
Pecoraro, Marco, and Didier Ruedin. 2016. ‘A Foreigner Who Does Not Steal My Job: The Role of Unemployment Risk and Values in Attitudes toward Equal Opportunities’. International Migration Review 50 (3): 628–66. https://doi.org/10.1111/imre.12162.
Pecoraro, Marco, and Didier Ruedin. 2019. ‘Occupational Exposure to Foreigners and Attitudes towards Equal Opportunities’. Migration Studies. https://doi.org/10.1093/migration/mnz006.
Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘Attitudes to Immigrants in South Africa: Personality and Vulnerability’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43 (7): 1108–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1428086.

Swiss-Subsaharan Africa Migration — Inaugural call

Today I give you the Swiss-Subsaharan Africa Migration (S-SAM) network. The aim is to build and strengthen long-term partnerships between migration researchers in Subsaharan Africa and Switzerland, and we have just launched our first call for pilot studies and exchanges: https://www.unine.ch/sfm/home/formation/ssam.html

Key countries are: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Tanzania. We fund small pilot studies and exchanges for late PhD and early postdoctoral researchers. The focus is on reasons and preparations to migrate, health, and student migration.

Call for applications: Two postdoctoral fellowship opportunities mobility, politics, and transformation in sub-Saharan Africa

Under the auspices of the South African Research Chair for Mobility & the Politics of Difference, the African Centre for Migration & Society at Wits University seeks applications for two post-doctoral fellows.

Under the auspices of the South African Research Chair for Mobility & the Politics of Difference, the African Centre for Migration & Society at Wits University seeks applications for two post-doctoral fellows. Fellows will be appointed for a period of one to two years beginning as early as January 2019. Compensation is at the maximum allowable under South African tax code. Descriptions follow:

Mobility, diversity, and temporality in African cities:

This fellow will conduct innovative explorations of human mobility’s role in transforming modes of social engagement, authority, and political subjectifications in sub-Saharan cities. The ACMS particularly welcomes critical scholars from across the social sciences or humanities engaged at the intersection of space and time. The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team of scholars aiming to reshape global social theory and academic conversations on mobility, cities and political authority and ethics. Such work is intended to open new scholarly frontiers while informing and enhancing sub-Saharan Africa’s visibility in both academic and policy debates. With a home base in Johannesburg, scholars will be encouraged to develop and participate in projects across the region.

Law and the regulation of difference:

Working closely with the UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, this fellow will consider and theorise the legal regulation of ‘otherness.’ Incorporating questions of immigration, ethnicity, religion, and other axes of difference, the project is intended to consider the role of law in shaping citizenship and subjectivities. Although intended to inform practical anti-discrimination efforts, the successful applicant will also speak to broader socio-legal theory. The precise subject is undetermined but should consider the nature of law and its real and potential role in shaping the future of Africa’s diverse and mobile societies in an era of populism and securitization.
Scholars from under-represented communities are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications should include a cover letter, a CV, the names of three academic or professional references, and a sample of relevant scholarly writing of between 4,000-10,000 words.

Applications are due 1 May 2018.

For more information, contact Kabiri Bule: kabiri@migration.org.za