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Professor Robert Van Niekerk


PhD (Oxford University), MSc (LSE), BA Hons, BA (UCT)
Organisational Unit
Wits School of Governance

Professor Robert Van Niekerk holds a BA (English) & BA Hons (Industrial Sociology) from the University of Cape Town, an MSc (Social Policy) from the London School of Economics (LSE) and an MPhil and DPhil (Comparative Social Policy) from the University of Oxford. He was a holder of the LSE Students Union Anti-Apartheid Scholarship. 

Van Niekerk’s current research projects in development for funding include a comparative international research project on the Effects of State Capture on the Public Good, a joint project with colleagues at the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) in the Hague.  His on-going projects include research on the social de-segregation of social policy such as health care provision in South Africa through mechanisms of universalisation and the historical evolution of policy thinking in South Africa on social democracy and the establishment of a re-distributive democratic  welfare state that can engage the middle-class in the provision of inclusively provided public goods such as a universal health care service.

He has secured research grants (and been invited to participate in research projects funded by) from institutions including the UK Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Mellon Foundation and the World Health Organisation.

He has co-edited special issues and published (and co-authored) journal articles in Social Policy and Administration, the South African Medical Journal; Health Policy and Planning; the Journal of Contemporary African Studies; Transformation and the Journal of African American History as well as co-edited volumes on the politics of South African health care reform and authored articles on social democracy, social citizenship and the African National Congress.  He co-authored book with Professor Vishnu Padayachee, Shadows of Liberation: Contestation and Compromise in the Economic and Social Policy of the African National Congress, 1943–1996’ and is currently working on a volume on the contemporary history of South African social policy and social citizenship.