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Bestsellers 2014
1.Voices of Liberation - Steve Biko
2.Voices of Liberation - Chris Hani
3.State of the Nation 1994 - 2014
4.(Post) Apartheid conditions
5.Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge
6.Broadcasting the Pandemic
7.Inside Indian Indenture
8.SA women as champions of change
9.COSATU’S Contested Legacy
10.Voices of Liberation - Patrice Lumumba

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Published by the HSRC PRESS

What kind of responsibility does a university have to its surrounding community? How does interaction take place? And who benefits from the relationship?

In recent years there has been a growing emphasis on community engagement within South African higher education institutions. The promotion of social responsiveness alongside teaching and research has been recognised as core to the higher education developmental agenda. Universities have been audited on their performance in this field. However, there has been much confusion and debate over what community engagement actually means – and what changes should take place to realise new visions and opportunities.

Academic interaction with external social partners: Investigating the contribution of universities to economic and social development (HSRC Press) is an extended research report which aims to develop a framework to understand the complexity of the situation, so as to contribute to appropriate intervention guidelines. An understanding of what exists at present, regarding community engagement, can inform the future strategies of higher education role-players, individual universities and academics.

To this end, the publication features an analysis of social and economic interaction across five South African universities. It looks at ways in which institutions are interpreting the call for social responsiveness, and what their potential contribution is to innovation, poverty reduction and socio-economic development. While national regulatory processes have been the common driver of community engagement programmes, it is interesting to note that all universities are grappling with this challenge – and that the way they are responding differs considerably.

The research maps the diverse forms of university interaction with a wide range of external partners, taking into consideration different institutional types (eg urban and rural) and conditions.

Chapter 1 sets out the national systems of innovation theoretical framework, and an analysis of South African policy and research literature that were used to develop the empirical study.

Chapter 2 describes the design and methodology of the research. It is centred on a telephonic survey of individual academics at five universities, as well as a study of the institutional policies and structures to promote engagement.

Chapter 3 shows the scale of interaction across the system, and considers why some academics do not engage.

Chapters 4 to 8 present a more in-depth analysis of community engagement patterns at each university type featured in the research – including two research universities, a university of technology, a comprehensive university and a rural university.
Chapter 9 concludes with comparisons between the universities, and discusses how the research framework can provide a tool for investigating university interaction, as well as inform on ways of contributing to the national development system.

The research shows a general pattern across the system to be a strong orientation towards teaching/learning and outreach forms of social interaction. Here, academics, communities and firms become partners, suggesting a growing alignment between higher education and the labour market. However, there is no strong pattern of interaction oriented towards research and innovation – a clear space for intervention has been identified.

It is in the search for such strategic innovations that Academic interaction with external social partners: Investigating the contribution of universities to economic and social development (HSRC Press) aims to contribute to a national framework for analysis and action. The research also acknowledges the need for further analysis in South African universities, public research institutions and comparative work in sub-Saharan Africa to extend the debate. For now, the publication offers valuable and rigorous material which should be of interest to policy-makers, academics, and those involved in higher education institutions.


“Academic interaction with external social partners: Investigating the contribution of universities to economic and social development” is published by the HSRC Press.

For copies of the book please contact:

HSRC Press
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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) recently celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, with much to feel proud of. Not only does the federation have a strong legacy of resistance, it has also made a sterling contribution to the reconstruction of the country since the end of apartheid.

However, the legacy of South Africa's largest union federation – and member of the Tripartite Alliance with the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP) – is subject to intense contestation by various forces both within and without COSATU. Moreover, the federation itself is facing a variety of new challenges, as its membership and the political climate itself changes. In Cosatu's Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy (HSRC Press), edited by Sakhela Buhlungu and Malehoko Tshoaedi, a number of labour researchers highlight the success and opportunities, setbacks and failures faced by the federation in the recent period. The publication focuses on COSATU and its members, particularly on their understanding of union democracy, politics and governance. Importantly, the book is not about paying homage to COSATU, nor is it about demonising the federation. It's about identifying patterns of power and inequality, co-operation and conflict within COSATU.

The discussion is based on quantitative data as well as qualitative interviews. The data is drawn from the unique COSATU Workers' Survey, which has been run every four years since the 1994 elections. The survey was initiated with the aim of understanding workers' conceptions of democracy on the shopfloor, within unions, and the broader political arena. Contributors to the book were able to take specific findings from the 2008 survey and present in-depth discussions.

Over the past 15 years COSATU has enjoyed successes including relatively high membership in almost all sectors, as well as membership breakthroughs in new sectors employing white-collar and professional workers. However, some of these successes come at a cost, presenting opportunities that are not always easy to take advantage of. For example, the expansion of membership introduces new challenges to working-class politics and unity, while the growth of women's membership raises the issue of gender equality within the federation. These and other topics, including power relations within the federation, the changing nature of trade unions, social mobility, the political role of trade unions, attitudes towards internal and external migrants and strike violence are included in the chapters which make up this comprehensive publication. Moreover, all the chapters in this volume ask tough questions of COSATU: Why are women under-represented? Does COSATU have the will to organise external migrants? Do union leaders condone violence during marches?

COSATU's Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy (HSRC Press) argues that COSATU is ultimately not homogenous, both in terms of its membership and the political positions that members hold. The federation has a legacy of both resistance and construction, which creates its own complexities. Authors have chosen to focus on specific issues which challenge the federation as it moves forward, and in so doing explore these complexities based on worker perceptions and projections.

In short, the analyses in this volume are intended to inform, provoke, debunk conventional wisdoms and challenge others to see the fluidity of COSATU and the labour movement in general. As such, it provides a valuable addition to the labour research canon which should be of use to researchers, unionists, policy-makers and political scientists.


COSATU's Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy is edited by Sakhela Buhlungu and Malehoko Tshoaedi and published by the HSRC Press.


For copies of the book or for an interview with the editors, please contact:

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Edited by SUSAN LEVINE and published by the HSRC PRESS

“Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale.” – Rudolf Virchow

In 1948 cellular pathologist and anthropologist Rudolf Virchnow reported that an outbreak of typhus in Upper Silesia was caused not only by poor hygiene, but also poverty, and economic and political subordination. By highlighting the link between inhumane living conditions and illness, he demonstrated the ability to think beyond the microscope.

Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge, edited by Susan Levine and published by the HSRC Press, is inspired by Vichnow’s assertion that medicine is best understood within the social sciences, and that illness cannot be reduced to what can be seen under the microscope. Featuring contributions from southern Africa and the global South, the book brings together multiple perspectives by researchers who are reimagining the possibilities for scholarly ways of knowing and assembling the world. It does double duty by holding together two conversations: one focused on the co-existence of different medical knowledge systems, and the other offering a philosophical treatment of epistemology. The book aims to create an open space for discussion around traditional and biomedical knowledge, with the production of medical knowledge, belief and practice as its focus.

By looking at the day-to-day worlds of doctors, healers and patients, the contributors offer ethnographic studies of local worlds. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction by editor Susan Levine, as she places the proceeding articles within a medical and anthropological context.

Chapters 2 to 5 are linked under the title “Ethnography from southern Africa”. Oliver Human looks at HIV and AIDS medicine at the margins of administration; Christopher J Colvin tackles HIV science and the work of the Dr Rath Foundation; Susan Levine looks at legitimacy, healing and medicine in South Africa; and Diana Gibson and Estelle Oosthuysen explore biomedical and traditional knowledge in the search for healing in Nambia.

Chapters 6 to 8 are linked under the title “Ethnography from the global South”. Helen MacDonald examines health-seeking behaviours in central India; Donna Goldstein explores pharmaceutical insights into anthropology’s fractured self; and Judith Farquhar looks at global and local science.

The book concludes with an article by artist Fritha Langerman, whose creative work appears throughout the publication. The images are from her exhibition called Subtle Thresholds, which is concerned with the visual representation of infectious disease, and the language surrounding disease. Her final chapter explains her work in relation to knowledge systems.

Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge (HSRC Press)considers the production of medical knowledge at the crossroads of an uneven, fragile and technologically advanced world. Drawing on the rich tradition of medical anthropology, the contributing authors consider the global politics of biomedical science, tradition and healthcare choices in the everyday.

With articles and authors representing a range of topics in a variety of settings, from HIV/AIDS in South Africa to health-seeking patterns in central India, the book makes a valuable contribution to the medical anthropology field in particular and social sciences studies in general.

Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge is edited by Susan Levine and published by the HSRC Press.

For copies of the book or for an interview with the editor or writers, please contact:

HSRC Press
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The South African competition regime has been widely recognised as one of the most dynamic in the world. This is especially in the context of its relative youth and the range of issues the country has faced since the Competition Act of 1999. But while the South African competition authorities have established an enviable local and international profile, there is also a need for critical evaluation of progress.

The Development of Competition Law and Economics in South Africa, edited by Kasturi Moodaliyar and Simon Roberts, and published by the HSRC Press, is a compilation of chapters by experts in the field, who reflect on key concepts and debates. The chapters cover important questions ranging from broad policy considerations to technical issues in the main areas of competition evaluation, namely merger assessment, abuse-of-dominance enforcement, and the detection and prosecution of cartels.

South Africa, like many countries in the developing world, faces challenges when looking for workable instruments to advance the economy. This raises interesting questions about the role of competition policy in achieving developmental objectives. Fortunately, South Africa has robust new legislation in the form of the Competition Act, the Competition Commission, an independent Competition Tribunal and a specialist Competition Appeal Court. Since 1999 competition law jurisprudence has grown impressively. This has inspired academic thought and interest at both local and international levels and this book adds to the growing literature, with chapters reviewing critical issues that marked the first decade of the competition authorities.

Part I deals with broad questions of competition law, economics and policy. Chapters include a look at the public-interest objectives of the Competition Act, and a proposed framework for promoting competition in electronic communication.

Part II looks at mergers, with two chapters dealing with problems in identifying markets and firms’ market shares, followed by two chapters on vertical mergers, independence and collusion.

Part III, which focuses on abuse of dominance, reviews three different types of exclusionary strategies that have been raised by South African cases. The chapters all make the point about the importance of effects-based analysis in deciding cases, while highlighting particular features of the cases themselves.

In Part IV focuses on cartels and what exactly constitutes prohibited coordinated conduct and where it is likely to arise.

The Development of Competition Law and Economics in South Africa (HSRC Press) reflects on the maturing of the competition regime. It also anticipates future challenges, including the application of new legislation such as the Competition Amendment Act. The book is an important source for students and practitioners of competition law and economics, as well as for those with an interest in the crucial questions of competition enforcement.


“The development of competition law and economics in South Africa” is edited by Kasturi Moodaliyar and Simon Roberts and published by the HSRC Press.

For copies of the book please contact:

HSRC Press
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Cape Town

Tel: +27 21 4668002
Fax: +27 21 4610836



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