Skip to content
Political Sciences

Prof Dirk Kotzé

Subject Head: Politics

  • Office telephone: +27 (0)12 429 6512
  • E-mail address:
  • Office: 7-9, Theo van Wijk Building (Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria) 


  • MA (Political Science, University of Stellenbosch)
  • MA (History, University of Pretoria)
  • PhD (Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand)


  • South African politics
  • Political conflict resolution
  • Transitions and democratisation
  • Quality of democracy and governance
  • Electoral studies

Short bio

Dirk Kotzé is a Professor in Political Sciences at the University of South Africa (UNISA). His graduate studies were in both Political Sciences and History at the universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and the Witwatersrand. He also attended courses in political conflict resolution at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Since 1988 he has been involved in academic teaching and especially concentrates on South African politics, political conflict resolution, public policy and ideologies. He is actively involved in the most important professional organisations of the Political Sciences: as one of the Vice-Presidents of the International Political Science Association and as the National Secretary of the South African Association of Political Studies.

As part of his lecturing he is often in Ankara (Turkey) to present courses on conflict resolution, South African politics and an overview of African politics. Furthermore, he was involved in the official training programme in South Africa for the Government of South Sudan and with the mediation process in Madagascar. He was also a member of the ministerial panel about ownership of land by foreigners in South Africa in 2007.

Selected publications

"Diplomatic peace enforcement of a roadmap: The role of the SADC Organ in Madagascar", Conference theme: Peacekeeping and Peace enforcement in Southern Africa, Organised by the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security, 21-23 September 2012, Lusaka, Zambia

"The responsibility to implement: SADC’s challenges as mediator in Madagascar to convert the peace deal into implementation", The Thomas Ohlson Memorial Conference: From civil war to strong peace in Africa", 18-20 April 2013, Uppsala, Sweden

"Land reform and sustainable food security as co-existing policy priorities in South Africa", Tenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, 22-24 January 2014, University of Split, Croatia

"Executive-legislative relations and quality of governance" for the panel "What makes governance good/bad enough", 23rd World Congress of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), Montréal, Canada, 19-24 July 2014

"The South African Constitution and nation-building", Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo, no. IV (special issue on the first 15 years of the Constitution), 2011[]

"The Government of National Unity as a transitional power-sharing institution in Madagascar", Southern African Peace and Security Studies, vol. 2 no. 1, 2013, p. 9-22 (

"Africa’s concept of ‘unconstitutional change of government’ – how appropriate?", Conflict Trends, Issue 4, 2013, ACCORD, p. 3-10.

Editor of special issue of Politeia (‘South African local government election 2011: Its significance for democracy and governance’), 31(1), 2012, Pretoria: Unisa Press

"South Africa: Opposition politics post apartheid", in Hussein Solomon (ed). 2011. Against All Odds: Opposition political parties in Southern Africa. Johannesburg: KMM Review Publishing, p.152 – 176

"Cope – Grandiose entrance and micro-status", in Susan Booysen (ed.) 2012. Local elections in South Africa: Parties, people, politics. Stellenbosch: Sun Media, p. 173- 190

"South Africa’s foreign policy and international relations during 2012", in Neville Botha (ed.) South African Yearbook of International Law, vol. 37, 2012, VerLoren van Themaat Centre for Public Law Studies, University of South Africa, p. 356-377

"The NDPP inquiry might not resolve the real pressing issues", The Sunday Independent, 13 July 2014, p. 14