Our guest researchersPublished on 30.11.2022

Presentation of the guest researchers of the IFF: Michelle Maziwisa

What is your research about?

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Dullah Omar Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. My research focuses on governance, currently cities. With cities gaining relevance in the global arena, and projections of growing urbanization by 2050, cities are gaining more importance internationally. I explore the networks and collaboration of cities, as well as the constitutional competencies of cities, in relation to global issues including, trade and investment such as this discussion on external economic arrangements, in which I look at cities as agents of economic development. I also research on women’s representation stressing the importance of gender-balanced councils to promote democratic legitimacy. More recently, my research is considering decentralized crisis management through a gendered lens and how this can inform future emergencies such as climatic events, drawing from past experiences such as Covid-19.

During my stay at Institute for Federalism, as part of the LoGov project, I will explore the dynamics between urban and rural local government, comparing the system of financial equalization, and the decentralization of public transport of South Africa and Switzerland. Transportation and local government revenue and are central to the functioning and growth of local economies, and also to the quality of life of residents, including vulnerable groups.

What is your background?

I hold a doctorate in Public Law (LLD) from the University of the Western Cape, wherein my thesis examined the developmental impact of international trade and investment law in Africa. For my Masters Degree, I took one semester at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and one semester at the Bucerius Law School, in Hamburg, Germany, as part of its programme in International and Comparative Business Law. I hold a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and practiced as an Attorney of the High Court of Zimbabwe for a few years prior to starting my doctoral studies in 2013. I am an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality and work closely with the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) and the Gender and Trade Coalition (GTC) on feminist economic justice. I am a Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Fellow.

The LoGov project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE) programme under the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie (MSCA) grant agreement No 823961, being managed by Eurac’s Institute for Comparative Federalism.