Studies in National and International Development


National and International Development

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Capital Cities in Africa: Power and Powerlessness

Date: Thursday October 5, 2017
Venue: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, D214
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Speaker: Simon Bekker, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Overwhelmed by the challenges resulting from their urbanization, the governments seated in most of these capital cities are in effect both powerful—wielding power over their populace—and powerless, unable to implement their plans and provide for their inhabitants. This talk explores the complicated processes of nation–state building through its manifestation in the “urban geology” of the city—its architecture, iconography, layout, and political use of urban space





Simon Bekker

Simon Bekker is a visiting Emeritus Professor from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.  He has been Professor of Development Studies at Rhodes University and Director of the Centre for Social and Development Studies at the (then) University of Natal (Durban).  He has held visiting Fellow appointments at Oxford University, the (then) Centre d'Étude d'Afrique Noire in France, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala, Sweden and at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. He is (co) author of Governing Cities in Africa: Politics and Policies.  (2013) Capital Cities in Africa: Power and Powerlessness (2014).