Ph.D. (CUNY Graduate Center)
Ted is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Human Economy program, having started with the group in February 2012. He can be contacted at Ted.Powers@up.ac.za.
Ted’s research focuses on transnational political and economic influence, the transformation of the South African state and the effect of these factors on the politics of development in South Africa’s townships and informal settlements. For his dissertation research, entitled HIV/AIDS, the post-apartheid state, and the limits of transnational governance in South Africa, Ted analysed the political dynamics surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the townships of Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Gugulethu with a focus on the ways that politics in these areas interacted with municipal, provincial, national and international forces. Ted’s research findings cast critical light on theories of transnationalism that point to a declining role of the state due to international political and economic forces, while underscoring the significance of scale in analyses of politics in the global era. Ted defended his doctoral thesis in November 2011.
During his time with the Human Economy program, Ted will expand on this research program to analyze the role of the informal economy and social networks in producing the political economy of South Africa’s townships. In post-apartheid South Africa, peri-urban townships have emerged as important hubs for an array of new social and economic relationships that have developed in response to the negotiated political transition and the adoption of neoliberal macroeconomic policies. With working class and poor South Africans increasingly turning to the informal economy to meet their material needs, townships are acting as a focal point for the distribution of goods and services while developing new networks within peri-urban settlements. For his post-doctoral research, Ted will turn his attention to these para-state modes of socio-economic organization and investigate the existence of alternative forms of economic exchange and solidarity in South African society.
Some of Ted’s recent publications are:
· Powers, T. (forthcoming in 2012) Institutionalizing Dissent: HIV/AIDS, the post-apartheid state, and the limits of transnational governance in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 38(3)
· Powers, T. and Susser, S. (forthcoming in 2012) Opening new theoretical terrain in the study of AIDS: A review of Robert Thornton’s “Unimagined Community: Sex, Networks and AIDS in Uganda and South Africa”. American Anthropologist
· Powers, T. (2010) HIV/AIDS and Transnational Politics in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Anthropology News 51(4): 49-50.