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    Call for Abstracts on Traditional Leadership


     July 31 2016

    Call for Abstracts
    The Mapugubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra) is initiating a research project on “mediating convergence and divergence: traditional leadership and customs in a constitutional democracy”. This theme continues to be a subject of intellectual, policy and general public discourse. The question then is why this enquiry, when so much has been researched on the matter?
    Mistra would like authors to provide an update on existing research in light of developments in the last 22 years of South Africa’s democracy. The key focus for the book is the apparent tension in our constitution with its claims, on the one hand, to supporting representative government and, on the other, recognising an institution of traditional leadership which is essentially hereditary. The research papers (chapters) should address questions that include but are not limited to the following:
     What are the existing intellectual traditions on the institution of traditional authority; how can they be advanced and/or challenged?
     What are the socio-cultural, political, and economic continuities and discontinuities of the pre-conquest times through the 1910-1994 white governments and their bantustans, to the post-apartheid state? In other words, what socio-cultural, political, and economic changes have taken place during these moments (in relation to the institution of traditional authority) and what were the forces behind such changes?
     How are the traditional issues of leadership succession, customary marriage, initiation rite-of-passage, and traditional courts mediated by the culture of rights, gender equality, and civil marriage?
     How are land tenure laws redefining neo-customary and statutory laws, and what are the implications of such property regimes for citizenship rights, identity politics, land-related conflicts, democratic governance and nation-building?
     Do traditional authorities enable or constrain local socio-economic development processes?
    MISTRA will give preference to empirically based chapters that are theoretically informed and that draw on fresh and unpublished material. Comparative case studies will also be welcomed.
    The leader for this book project is Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza, who will also act as editor.
    The project is coordinated by Dr Ngaka Mosiane, MISTRA Researcher, to whom the abstract should be forwarded:
    Closing date for abstracts: July 31, 2016.
    Abstracts should be 300 words or less.

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