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Prof Anthony Butler

Professor Anthony Butler has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge. He has previously been a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; Director of the Politics and Administration Programme at Birkbeck College, University of London; and Chair in Political Studies at University of the Witwatersrand.

Butler’s research focuses on politics and public policy in South Africa. Particular interests include the politics of the ANC, state-business relations, political funding, theories of the state, policy uncertainty, party systems and party organisation, the politics of HIV/AIDS policy, minerals policy, energy security and black economic empowerment in SA.

Butler is the author of five books, most recently The Idea of the ANC (Athens, Ohio University Press, 2013); Contemporary South Africa, 2nd edition (New York, Palgrave Macmillan 2009); and Cyril Ramaphosa (Oxford, James Currey, 2008). He is also editor of Paying for Politics: Party funding and political change in South Africa and the global South (Auckland Park, Jacana, 2010) and Remaking the ANC (Auckland Park, Jacana, 2014).

Academic publications include:

‘The Politics of Numbers: National membership growth and subnational power in the African National Congress’, Transformation (forthcoming);

‘The ANC’s campaign in 2014’, in Collette Shultz-Herzenberg and Roger Southall (eds), Election 2014: South Africa (Auckland Park, Jacana Media);

‘Resource nationalism and the African National Congress’, Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 113 (2013) 1-10;

‘Considerations on the erosion of one-party dominance’, Representation, 45:2 (2009);

‘Black Economic Empowerment since 1994’, in Ian Shapiro and Kahreen Tebeau, (eds,) After Apartheid: The second decade(Charlottesville VA, Virginia University Press, 2011);

‘State capacity and political accountability in post-apartheid South Africa’, in Dan Plaatjies (ed) Future Inheritance(Johannesburg, Jacana, 2011);

‘The African National Congress under Jacob Zuma’, in Roger Southall et al (eds), New South African Review (Johannesburg, Witwatersrand University Press, 2010);

‘The opportunity and threat of party finance reform in South Africa’, in Butler, Anthony (ed.), Paying for Politics: Party finance and political change in South Africa and the global South (Johannesburg, Jacana, 2010);

‘The institutional context of a South African developmental state: Conceptual and sequencing issues’, in Omano Edigheji ed.,Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa (Cape Town, HSRC Press, 2010);

‘The ANC’s national election campaign of 2009: Siyanqoba!’, in Roger Southall and John Daniel eds, Zunami! The 2009 South African Elections (Johannesburg, Jacana, 2009).

Butler writes a regular column for Johannesburg’s Business Day newspaper.


Contact details: 

  • Physical Address: Room 5.34, Robert Leslie Building, Upper Campus
  • Postal Address: Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7700.
  • Tel: +27 21 650 3381 (messages)
  • Fax: +27 21 650 3799 (fax)
  • Email: anthony.butler@uct.ac.za