Researchers and Associate Researchers

Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson

Biographical Information

Professor Lisa Thompson is a full Professor in the School of Government and Director of the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE) situated at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Over the past 22 years, she has led numerous research projects within the School of Government in the areas of international development and participatory democratic development. Previously Director of the Centre for Southern African Studies (CSAS) that focused on regional integration, since the formation of ACCEDE in 2007, Professor Thompson has led a number of internationally funded projects on participatory development in the South from global political economy perspective.

While research is located within critical international global development perspectives, ACCEDE’s research includes a strong action based component of advocacy work with grassroots community groups, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, social movements and ad hoc forms of community activism and mobilization from below. Recent research has included a focus on regional and South-South development approaches that purport to promote people centered development. The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) alliance is currently of particular focus. Most recently, funding from the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and ongoing institutional support from the University of the Western Cape has allowed for in-depth research on various developmental aspects of BRICS including multilateral and bilateral trade and investment agreements and strategies.

The BRICS states renewed interest in Special Economic Zones and their potential to form a base to kick-start South Africa and the regions mostly primary product forms of production is the basis for current case study research. This research examines broader South-South economic linkages against the background of the local social justice impact of BRICS trade and investment on poor communities.

Recent Publications Include

Thompson, L and Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2017. BRICS Development Strategies: Exploring the meaning of BRICS ‘community’ and ‘collective action’ in the Context of BRICS State Led Cooperation in South Africa, Chinese Political Science Review, Vol 2, No 1 (peer reviewed).

Thompson, L. Tapscott, C. Tsolekile de Wet, P, 2017. “An Exploration of the Concept of Community and its Impact on Participatory Governance Policy and Service Delivery in Poor Areas of Cape Town, South Africa”, Politikon, Vol 44, No 4 (online) (peer reviewed).


Pamela Tsolekile de Wet

Biographical Information

Pamela Tsolekile de Wet is a researcher at the Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE), School of Government, at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

She obtained her Masters in Urban Design and Infrastructure Management at UCT in 2012 and is currently registered for a PhD in the Institute of Social Development at UWC.  Her research interests include people-centred development processes, democracy, and citizen participation.  She is currently involved in a research project BRICS from below – Social Justice, Sustainable Development and Quality of Life Cluster.

Her recent publications & conference papers include:

  • Thompson, L., Conradie, I & Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2014. Participatory Politics: Understanding Civil Society Organisation in Governance networks in Khayelitsha, Politikon SA Journal of Political Studies Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. XXX
  • Jacobs, Jordhus- Lier, Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2015. The Politics of Knowledge: Knowledge management in Informal Settlements Upgrading in Cape Town. Urban Forum (2015), Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 425 – 441.
  • Jordhus, – Lier, D & Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2016. The Politics of Slums in the Global South – Settlement Stories: A question of knowledge.  Routledge, (2016) p.79: urban informality in Brazil, India, South Africa and Peru.
  • Thompson, L & Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2016. BRICS Development Strategies: Exploring the meaning of BRICS ‘community’ and ‘collective action’ in the Context of BRICS State Led Cooperation in South Africa at the International Symposium on Development and Governance in the BRICS, 24-25 September 2016, Fudan University, Shanghai.
  • Tsolekile-de Wet, P. & Thompson, L. 2016. The Role of Social Movements in Making Local Government Decision-Making Processes More Inclusive – A case study of Sivukile Sonele Social Movement in Langa, Cape Town, Draft paper presented at the Association of South African schools and Departments of Public Administration (ASSADPAM)Annual Conference October 26-27 2016, Cape Town
  • Thompson,L., Tapscott, C & Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2017. An exploration of the concept of Community & its impact on Participatory Governance Policy & service delivery in poor areas of Cape Town. Politikon South African Journal of Political Studies, 2017
  • Thompson, L. Tsolekile de Wet, P. 2017. BRICS Development Strategies “collective action in the context of BRICS State –led cooperation in South Africa. Politikon South African Journal of Political Studies, 2017, Vol, 0, ISS, 0.

Franklin Ondah Awaseh

Biographical Information

Franklin, Ondah Awaseh is a researcher at the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy(ACCEDE). Mr. Awaseh is currently doing research work on BRICS from below (significance and understanding of the BRICS alliance for ordinary citizens) in partnership with other senior researchers from ACCEDE, while completing a master dissertation that interrogates the peculiarity of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in adding value to the Development Agenda in South Africa.

Franklin’s orientation towards research developed when he was a research assistant at the School of Post Graduate studies(UWC), where he worked mostly with PhD students. He has also mentored and tutored academic writing and research to several undergraduate students at UWC both as a senior mentor/tutor and as a Residential Service’s Student Development Officer.

Franklin’s academic and leadership quality earned him a number of awards with the most memorable being UWC’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Student Development and Support (SDS) most outstanding student of the year.