Prof Simon Bekker

(Stellenbosch University, South Africa)



Broadly, my research interests over the past decade have comprised urban issues, initially in South Africa and increasingly beyond its borders in sub-Saharan Africa. I have tried to understand some of these issues by using collective identities, migration streams and xenophobic behaviour as ideas that facilitate analyses of urban life in Africa.

A four-year research programme on urban issues in sub-Saharan Africa has resulted in two publications: a book on capital cities edited by Gran Therborn and myself and a second, edited by Laurent Fourchard and myself, entitled Governing cities in Africa: Politics and Policies.

A selection of my publications is listed in the four sub-pages given below. Some of these publications are available here in electronic format (via hyper-links).


  • Bekker, S. and N. Bromberger (2016) ‘A shift in Western development agency thinking? The case for second best.’ Social Dynamics. (10.1080/02533952.2016.1237319)
  • Bekker S. (2016) ‘2008 et 2015, pistes d’interprétation de deux flambées xénophobes en Afrique du Sud.’ in R. Porteilla, Hayem J., Séverin M et Dika P.R. (eds) Afrique du Sud : 20 ans de démocratie contrastée. Paris : L’Harmattan 273-283.
  • Bekker, S. (2015) ‘Entitlement demands and entitlement despair. Reflections on the violent xenophobic episodes of 2015 and of 2008.’ African Human Mobility Review 1(3) 230–253