Society, Work and Development Institute

The Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) is one of the University of the Witwatersrand’s most enduring research organisations. The central problem investigated through the current SWOP research programmes is the precarious nature of social order. In the second decade after the democratic elections of 1994, it is clear that slow-burning contestations over the dissolution of the old order and the shape of the emerging order are wide-ranging, with implications for development, democracy, law, gender relations and society as a whole.

SWOP researchers, associates, PhD fellows and MA interns are exploring these problems through research into work and worklessness, society and nature, households, social reproduction, gender orders and welfare regimes, civil society, class formation, citizenship, movements and violence. A major emerging research area is on mining, society and environment. Read more…


Marikana and the post-apartheid workplace order

Publications - Marikana report

Year: 2013
Author(s): Crispen Chinguno
SWOP, Working paper 1, April 2013



Conversations with Bourdieu: The Johannesburg moment


Year: 2012
Author(s): Michael Burawoy & Karl von Holdt
ISBN: 978-1-86814-540-9
View the video of the book launch 

The publication is on sale from SWOP.



See more publications by type:


See more publications by year:

201320122011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 


Join our mailing list

  Conferences & Seminars

SWOP Breakfast Seminar - 11 April 2014

Presenter: Tatenda Mukwedeya (SWOP PHD Fellow)

Title: Party politics and the local state: Reflections from Buffalo City
Date: Friday, 11 April 2014
Time: 07H30 - 09H00
Venue: Senate Room, 2nd Floor, Senate House, Wits University, East Campus 

RSVP: or
011 717 4460


The Latest...

South Africa: Developmental Failure or Neoliberal Success? 13 March 2014
The main objective of this workshop was to unpack the concurrent political, economic and social dynamics of neoliberal deepening under a democratic regime, thereby shedding light on the complex unfolding and idiosyncrasies of neoliberalism in post-apartheid South Africa.
Download Summary and View Proceedings

South Africa: the transition to violent democracy
Karl von Holdt (Free Download)
More information 

Call for Postdoctoral Fellows
SWOP is seeking applications from recently or soon to be completed doctoral students who require a host for funding applications for postdoctoral level research.  More information