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Laurence Piper

Laurence Piper

Professor I312


Staff member at Division of Urban Planning and Development. Conducts research in social sciences, political science.

Research interest

I am Professor of Political Science in the IPPE programme at University West. My research interests focus mostly on local government and democracy, with a past focus on participation and citizenship in the urban South and South Africa in particular. My most recent book is Democracy Disconnected: Participation and Governance in a City of the South, co-written with Professor Anciano and published by Routledge (2019).


I am currently interested in the significance of segregation and place in the city for issues of local governance and citizenship in Sweden.

External assignments

  • I am member of the International Political Science Association (IPSA).
  • I am a past President of the South African Association for Political Science (SAAPS), 2016-2018, and a long-standing member of SAAPS.
  • I am a Co-Investigator on Participedia, a crowdsourcing platform for researchers, activists, practitioners, and anyone interested in public participation and democratic innovations. See
  • I am a longstanding editor on Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory
  • I regularly review articles for academic publishes like Pan Macmillan and journals such as Development and Change, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, International Political Science Review, and Third World Quarterly.
  • I am asked to grade Masters and Phd Theses regularly.


I teach mostly research methodology in the undergraduate and Masters IPPE and WIL programme.


City politics, governance, participation, citizenship, South Africa, urban South

Research gate