CCS is committed to progressive scholarship and activism, bottom-up. Our research on social, environmental and economic justice begins with an epistemological commitment: the most rigorous knowledge production about oppressive systems is generated when scholars understand first-hand, most often from activists, the sources and processes of conflict.
It is only when a system of power is challenged by its critics – not just armchair academics – that we more fully understand that system’s logic: how it reacts and represses, co-opts or even concedes to opponents. A responsibility for researching social change in the world’s most unequal and protest-rich major country requires us to (self-critically) view these conflicts from the perspective of the oppressed.
Our objective is to advance socio-economic and environmental justice by developing critical knowledge about, for and in dialogue with civil society through teaching, research and publishing. The Centre was established by Adam Habib at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in July 2001, with the mission of promoting the study of South African civil society as a legitimate, flourishing area of scholarly activity. A related goal was to develop partnerships within civil society aimed at capacity-building, knowledge sharing, and generating reflection and debate.
Our three core strategies are: independent critical scholarship; information dissemination; and teaching/training. Our staff and associates include academics, Dennis Brutus Community Scholars, post-grad students, Visiting Scholars and administrators. If you would like to take Durban solidarity tours or become involved with our projects – as do hundreds of researchers and activists – write to CCS director Patrick Bond: firstname.lastname@example.org