Latest Department Achievements:


Congratulating Dr. Vusi Kumalo on his latest book publication


The department wishes to congratulate our Senior Lecturer in History, Dr. Kumalo, on the publication of his latest book:

From Plough to Entrepreneurship: A History of African Entrepreneurs in Evaton 1905 - 1960s. 

The department has resolved to have an official book launch in the near future. Halala Doc Vusi, Halala!



Staff in the Media



25/9/2020 Mr. Mtimka discussing President Cyril Ramaphosa's time in office:



Democratisation and Governance

The 21st Century has ushered in a wave of speculation surrounding the dominant global orientations of democratic governance and the accompanying ideology of liberalism. For aspiring political analysts, the field offers the opportunity to study and critique the successes and failures of liberal democracy since the end of the Cold War.

In this way, we are encouraged to evaluate the evolution of representative governance and its ideological implications. It leads us to discussions about:

  • political and civil liberties
  • the involvement of civil society in policy-making processes;
  • and the effectiveness of policies implemented by elites and bureaucracies
  • social rights movements such as Rhodes Must Fall (RMF), Black Lives Matter (BLM) or modern gender activism.  

By extension, students and researchers at NMU aim to study how the practical enactments of democratic governance influence the lives of particularly South African and African civil society.

However, there are supplementary research agendas that we engage in at a global level:

  • The state of international diplomacy
  • Global movements concerning race, gender and environmentalism
  • the resilient maintenance of authoritarian regimes;
  • the effects of religious fundamentalism and ethnic factionalism on politics;
  • and the meteoric rise of illiberal capitalism.


In changing perceptions of governance, including the respective global resurrections of socialism and conservatism, liberal democracy can no longer boast a monopoly of ideological influence to remedy challenges in governance. New or reformed political systems, especially those in Asia, Africa and South America provide suitable opportunities for revived interest in comparative politics.

Conflict Transformation and Management

The study of conflict transformation and management has rapidly evolved to constitute more than just inter-state and/or intra-state political conflict. NMU offers traditional undergraduate modules in conflict transformation and mediation studies. In these programmes, particular thematic focus is placed on deep-rooted ethnic, ethno-religious, inter-class and xenophobic violence. Furthermore, at post-graduate level, Conflict Management has expanded to encompass the study of all formats of conflict, which may extend to disputation at community, societal or organisational levels.

The department prides itself on the ability of conflict studies to traverse multiple fields in the social sciences (such as development and security studies) on a path to becoming an inter-disciplinary research field. This comes at the recognition that not all conflict is fashioned in the political sphere. In this regard, some research areas cater directly to conventional conflict management but others may have a broader research agendas. Areas of focus include:

  • Applied conflict management skills
  • Conflict in world politics
  • International peacekeeping
  • Development, change and conflict
  • Violenceand peace studies
  • Developmentalism
  • Security studies

Department Web Admin

Giovanni Poggi

(Researcher/ Lecturer)

NMU South Campus