Neil is a former economic development specialist at the London Development Agency advising on the creative and cultural industries to the Mayor of London. Prior to that he spent 9 years in marketing and PR for computer games and consumer products. Neil has a BA (Hons) from Oxford Brookes University and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cape Town. His research interests include human rights, Africa-China relations (which he occasionally teaches at a London School of Economics/UCT summer school), urban design and social equity.
Title and Summary of PhD project
Queer IR: South Africa’s Role in Promoting/Undermining the SOGI Norm
South Africa’s declared support for SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) rights in the international system has variously been described as inconsistent, ambivalent and contradictory. This thesis explores the potential of Queer Theory to provide insight into this apparent ambiguity through applying a queer methodology to familiar IR themes, including foreign policy, citizenship and human rights, through three case studies; South Africa’s policy and practice on SOGI rights within the UNHRC; its policy towards African trans* asylum seekers; and its development and application of the 2006 Constitution. Using a critical discourse analysis, South Africa’s state identity and interests will be examined through the queer lenses of Weber’s queer logics of state craft, queer necropolitics and Muñoz’s queer utopias.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If you want things to change, you have to do things differently.