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Heidi Brooks
Contact Information
Phone Number(s):
Research Interests
Democratic theory and quality of democracy
Participatory democracy
South African political history
Popular protest
Democratic policing

Associate Professor Heidi Brooks

Associate Professor

PhD and MA (Wits University), BA Hons (Leeds University)
Organisational Unit
Wits School of Governance

Heidi Brooks is an Associate Professor at the Wits School of Governance. She holds PhD and Masters degrees in Political Studies from the University of Witwatersrand, and a BA Honours in Development Studies from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. She holds a C2 rating as an established researcher from the National Research Foundation (NRF). Heidi has a professional background in higher education, research, and project management, with experience in the public, private and NGO sectors. Prior to joining WSG, Heidi was the Senior Researcher in the Humanity Faculty at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection and previously Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in Political and International Studies at Monash South Africa. Heidi’s research interests lie in South African political history, democratic theory, citizen participation, liberation and mass movements, state-civil society relations, popular protest, and intersections of policing and democracy. She has published widely in both local and international journals on South African political history and post-1994 democracy. She is author of the monograph, The African National Congress and Participatory Democracy: From people’s power to public policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). She is also a co-editor of Youth in South Africa: Agency, (in)visibility and national development (MISTRA, 2021) and of the recently published research volume, Protest in South Africa: Rejection, reassertion, reclamation (MISTRA, 2023).


Protest in South Africa
2023/02/28 | book

Perpetuating invisibility: Organised politics and alternative spaces in post-1994 youth politics
Youth in South Africa: Agency, (in)visibility and national development
2021/11/23 | book-chapter

The international experience of coalition politics: Democracy, party systems and stability
Marriages of Inconvenience: The politics of coalitions in South Africa
2021/07/09 | book-chapter

The African National Congress and Participatory Democracy
Palgrave Macmillan (Springer)
2020/01/05 | book

'This democracy is killing us': Perceptions of rights and democracy in the South African Police Service
Journal of Modern African Studies
2020 | journal-article
DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X20000191
EID: 2-s2.0-85090468053
ISSN: 14697777 0022278X

Decolonising and re-theorising the meaning of democracy: A South African perspective
Sociological Review
2020 | journal-article
DOI: 10.1177/0038026119878097
EID: 2-s2.0-85073967920
ISSN: 1467954X 00380261

Democracy and its Discontents: Protest from a Police Perspective
South African Crime Quarterly
2019/03 | journal-article

Differential interpretations in the discourse of ‘people’s power’:
African Studies
2018/05/21 | journal-article
ISSN: 0002-0184

Differential interpretations in the discourse of ‘people’s power’: Unveiling intellectual heritage and normative democratic thought
African Studies
2018 | journal-article
DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2018.1475653
EID: 2-s2.0-85047195386
ISSN: 14692872 00020184

Merging radical and liberal traditions: The constitution committee and the development of democratic thought in the African national congress, 1986–1990
Journal of Southern African Studies
2018 | journal-article
DOI: 10.1080/03057070.2018.1403742
EID: 2-s2.0-85034823085
ISSN: 14653893 03057070

Popular Power and Vanguardism: The Democratic Deficit of 1980s ‘Peoples Power’
2018 | journal-article
DOI: 10.1080/02589346.2017.1398992
EID: 2-s2.0-85033502322
ISSN: 14701014 02589346

The mass movement and public policy: discourses of participatory democracy in post-1994 South Africa*
Journal of Modern African Studies
2017/02/02 | journal-article
DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X16000793

The Idea of Organisational Renewal in the African National Congress
Remaking the ANC: Party Change in South Africa and the Global South.
2014/11/24 | book-chapter
ISBN: 978-1-4314-2019-3