School of Social and Political Science

SJ Cooper-Knock

Job Title

Lecturer in International Development (CAS and Anthropology)

Photo
SJ Cooper-Knock

Room number

4.3

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Post code (Address)

EH8 9LD

Background

SJ's research interests include: policing and punishment; law and social order; disaster response; and the politics of urban development. SJ is currently working on: 

1. Magistrates' Courts: Negotiating Justice in Uganda and South Africa

With Anna Macdonald exploring the role that magistrates' courts placy in the quest for dispute resolution and justice in South Africa and Uganda

2. Everyday Policing and Punishment in South Africa

Ongoing study into everyday policing and punishment in eThewkini and the Western Cape, South Africa.

3. Moving Words

With Duduzile S. Ndlovu researching mobility, being and belonging. This project explores both poetry-based methods and new approaches to comparative methods.

4. The Lockdown Diary Project

With Fiona Anciano, Mmeli Dube, Mfundo Majola and Boitumelo Papane, conducting WhatsApp diaries with 70 residents across occupied buildings, suburbs, townships and informal settlements in Cape Town.

5. Informal Settlement Fire and Disaster Management

With Fiona Anciano, Mfundo Majola, Graham Spinardi and the IRIS Fire team, exploring the triggers, causes, and responses to informal settlement fire in the Western Cape.

SJ completed a DPhil in International Development at the University of Oxford and taught at the LSE before joining the University of Edinburgh in 2014. SJ is currently an Associate Researcher at ACMS at the University of the Witwatersrand.

SJ is on the Editorial Team for Critical African Studies and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Southern African Studies.

Within the Centre of African Studies, SJ is currently the Research Convenor and the Co-Chair of the Decolonising Working Group with Rama Salla Dieng.

Selected publications 

Cooper-Knock, S.J. and Owen, O., 2018. Government paper: the negotiated production and life of state documents. Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue canadienne des études africaines52(3), pp.269-287.

Cooper-Knock, S.J. and Long, K. Camps. in Allen, T., Macdonald, A., and Radice, H. (eds). 2018.  A Dictionary of Humanitarianism. Routledge. 

Cooper-Knock, S.J. 2018. Beyond Agamben: Sovereignty, policing and ‘permissive space’ in South Africa, and beyond. Theoretical Criminology.  

Cooper-Knock, S.J., 2016. Continuity, Change and Crisis: Mapping South Africa’s Political Terrain. Journal of Southern African Studies42(1), pp.149-161.

Cooper-Knock, S.J. and Karekwaivanane, G.H., 2016. Introduction. Africa, 86 (01), pp.33-36.

Cooper-Knock, S.J., 2016. Behind closed gates: Everyday policing in Durban, South Africa. Africa86(01), pp.98-121.

Cooper-Knock, S.J. and Owen, O., 2015. Between vigilantism and bureaucracy: Improving our understanding of police work in Nigeria and South Africa. Theoretical Criminology, 19 (3), p.335-375.

Cooper-Knock, S.J., 2014. Policing in intimate crowds: Moving beyond ‘the mob’in South Africa. African Affairs, 113 (453), p563-582.

Cooper-Knock, S.J. 'I am not a police person': Politics, political legitimacy, and the everyday state in Durban. in Pihouse, R. and Minkley, G. Out of Order: Popular Struggles in Post-apartheid South Africa. Fort Hare Press: East London. In Press.

Research interests

Research interests

Access to justice, Social Justice, Criminal Justice, Civil Justice, civil society, police, security, African security, African studies, South African politics, South Africa

If you are interested in being supervised by SJ Cooper-Knock, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Cooper-Knock SJ. A moral economy of citizenship post-apartheid South Africa? In Anciano F, Wheeler J, editors, Political Values and Narratives of Resistance: Social Justice and the Fractured Promises of Post-colonial States. 1 ed. London: Routledge. 2021. p. 55-72. (Routledge Research on Decoloniality and New Postcolonialisms).
Cooper Knock SJ, Macdonald A. A summons to the magistrates’ courts in South Africa and Uganda. African Affairs. 2020 Dec 11;119(477):552–577. https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adaa026
Spinardi G, Cooper Knock SJ, Rush D. Proximal Design in South African Informal Settlements: Users as Designers and the Construction of the Built Environment and its Fire Risks. Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society . 2020 Dec 3;3(1):528-550 . https://doi.org/10.1080/25729861.2020.1847531
Rush D, Bankoff G, Cooper Knock SJ, Gibson L, Hirst L, Jordan S et al. Fire risk reduction on the margins of an urbanizing world. Disaster Prevention and Management. 2020 Sep 18. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-06-2020-0191
Rush D, Gibson L, Bankoff G, Cooper Knock SJ, Walls R, Twigg J et al. Fire risk reduction on the margins of an urbanising world. In Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations, New York. 2019
Cooper-knock SJ, Owen O. Government paper: The negotiated production and life of state documents. Canadian Journal of African Studies. 2019 Feb 11;52(3):269-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/00083968.2018.1546601
Cooper Knock SJ. Beyond Agamben: Sovereignty, policing and ‘permissive space’ in South Africa, and beyond. Theoretical Criminology. 2018 Feb 1;22(1):22-41. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480616680704
Cooper Knock SJ. Behind closed gates: Everyday policing in Durban, South Africa. Africa. 2016 Feb;86(1):98-121. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000972
Cooper Knock SJ, Karekwaivanane G. ‘Introduction: Law and Social Order in Africa’. Africa. 2016 Feb;86(1):33-36. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000807
Cooper Knock SJ. Continuity, change and crisis: Mapping South Africa’s political terrain. Journal of Southern African Studies. 2016 Feb;42(1):149-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2016.1133176
Karekwaivanane G, (ed.), Cooper Knock SJ, (ed.). ‘Part Issue: Law and Social Order in Africa’. Africa. 2016 Feb;86(1). https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000972
Owen O, Cooper Knock SJ. Between vigilantism and bureaucracy: Improving our understanding of police work in Nigeria and South Africa. Theoretical Criminology. 2015 Jul 23;19(03):355-375. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480614557306
Cooper Knock SJ. Policing in intimate crowds: Moving beyond 'the mob' in South Africa. African Affairs. 2014 Oct 1;113(453):563-582. https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adu060