The role of government in an unequal world

Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) Research Seminar

25 April 2014

We look forward to your participation in the research seminar hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) focussing on The role of government in an unequal world. This seminar is scheduled to take place on 25 April 2015 at the Simon's Restaurant, Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Groot Constantia Road, Cape Town, South Africa.


  • Disseminate scientific research findings and transmit a body of new knowledge through an interactive process of critical dialogue and collegial critique to the social sciences and humanities (SSH) research community and other interested actors in the National System of Innovation (NSI);
  • Provide an avenue for rated and other researchers, including researchers from rural-based universities to engage in knowledge dialogues across faculties and with other interested actors in the NSI;
  • Present and discuss new and ongoing research, identify research gaps, and suggest new research agendas in SSH with a view to forging closer links between the research communities in these fields;
  • Reinforce the visibility of SSH research to the higher education and science council sector;
  • Enhance wider public understanding of the SSH, including the value and status of both individual and team-based research; and
  • Strategically promote, develop, and coordinate collaborative and interdisciplinary research within and between higher education institutions and science councils.


Through the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), the HSRC has been the official South African country representative of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP, since 2003. The ISSP is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research. The intention of the ISSP is to bring together pre-existing social science projects and coordinated research goals, thereby adding a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual national studies. Membership of the ISSP currently consists of 48 countries.

The HSRC has been awarded the opportunity to act as the host for the annual ISSP Plenary meeting in April 2015. Apart from the prestige associated with hosting this international event, the timing of the meeting as well as the specific thematic module that will be discussed (Role of Government) has symbolic relevance to the work of the Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD) Programme of the HSRC. The meeting will taking place from the 25-29 April 2015 and as such coincides with Freedom Day (27 April) when 21 year of democracy will be celebrated. Given this historic event, the Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD programme of the HSRC and DST is hosting a Research Workshop that will be held as part of the Robben Island visit, focusing on the theme “The Role of Government in an Unequal World”.