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

Research interests

  • South African party politics
  • South African public policies
  • Negotiations, elections and political transitions
  • "Unconstitutional changes in government", popular protests and democracy

Professional positions

  • Secretary/treasurer of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS), 2006-2014
  • Member of the Executive Committee, International Political Science Association (IPSA), 2012 – 2014

Selected publications

Conference papers

"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

"Civic pride, national identity and the quality of democracy in South Africa", 65th Annual International Conference, Political Studies Association of the UK, 30 March – 1 April 2015, Sheffield, UK

"Parliament in a single-dominant party regime: South Africa", 2nd Combined colloquium with the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, 28 August 2015


"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

"Mediation and the responsibility to enforce implementation", St. Antony’s International Review (STAIR), Oxford, 11(2) forthcoming

Book chapters

"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

Media articles

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

"Free trade will bully small states", City Press (Business), 14 June 2015, p. 2

"Why South Africa’s governing alliance is doing some serious stock-taking", The Conversation, 2 July 2015,  

"Die lesse wat Nkandla ons leer", Rapport (Weekliks), 2 Augustus 2015, p. 7

"Why communism appears to be gaining favour in South Africa", The Conversation, 5 August 2015,