/ 27 May 2011

Security and justice: Pioneering physical and environmental security

Security And Justice: Pioneering Physical And Environmental Security

Professor Clifford Shearing,
SARChI Chair in Security and Justice, Centre of Criminology, University of Cape Town

The key objectives guiding the Chair in Security and Justice have been to assist in developing the capacities required for research that will enhance criminology at all levels — theory, policy and practice. This has been achieved at the level of research and theory by developing an internationally-recognised programme on multilevel security governance — including pioneering work on “environmental security” that responds to South Africa’s vulnerability to global environmental change.

Publications by members of the Chair’s team (two researchers and students), include four books, two journal special issues, 20 chapters in books, 21 journal articles in addition to occasional papers and reports.

Research projects include a study of policing the FIFA World Cup; the development of security governance within City Improvement Districts; enhancing policing accountability; web-based resources for scholars and practitioners; a ‘whole of society’ security governance model applicable at provincial levels; the development of a model of urban safety applicable throughout urban areas; assisting the National Civilian Secretariat of Police; food security models for poor communities; improving the security of informally-housed communities in the face of flooding and fire; enhancing the learning of science and maths through green education; models for the greening of universities; work with the insurance industry to improve its ability to act as a source of resilience and safety; and assistance in the formulation of the National Science Plan on Global Change.

Capacity development has taken place through course development; the creation of digital courses that can be used at other universities; supervision of graduate students (particularly at the doctoral and post-doctoral level) and the provision of scholarships at all post-graduate levels; creating student friendly workspaces; enabling students to learn essential skills by contributing to the organisation of the Chair’s programme of activities including public workshops at the university and within communities; a regular graduate student seminar series; four international conferences; and establishing the University as an international destination for scholars and students.

The Chair has provided Professor Shearing with extraordinary freedom to explore innovative theoretical ideas and practical models for action at levels that rival the support he has previously received as an international researcher at universities elsewhere.

This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as an advertorial supplement