Mr Lukhona Mnguni, a PhD intern researcher at the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit (MWRRU) in the School of Social Sciences, recently attended the 25th World Congress of Political Science. This Congress was held in Brisbane, Australia, under the theme Borders and Margins.
It brought together over 2 000 academics and PhD candidates from all corners of the world to present their work in a variety of panels. Mnguni presented a paper titled African Presidential Systems and How to Fix Them.
The constructive feedback received from a reviewer and attendees of the panel has given Mnguni new insights on his work. He said, ‘I am grateful to my reviewer from Turkey whom I met at the conference. She provided great insights and asked important questions that will help me refine the paper as I work towards publishing it. The audience also had some exciting questions and viewpoints to share on the paper.’
Attending this prestigious and possibly the biggest conference on political science was a dream come true for Mnguni. He has the College of Humanities to thank for the support it provided him to make it possible to attend the congress. Mnguni also thanked his Director, Professor Paulus Zulu, who extends ongoing support to his personal and scholastic growth.
One of the highlights of the conference for Mnguni was a plenary presentation by Professor Lisa Hill who presented on Compulsory Voting in Australia: Effects, Public Acceptance and Democratic Justification.
This was an interesting learning point for Mnguni because, according to him, ‘the idea of compulsory voting is not widely talked about in South Africa as part of democracy innovation as seen in Australia. Safe to say it has made me think far and wide about formats of democracy even though compulsory voting is practiced in a few countries globally.’
At the conference there was also a plenary session by world renowned Professor Cynthia Enloe who presented on Patriarchy is Bigger than Donald Trump, giving a wide ranging view on feminist research and patriarchy, especially in the last 35 years or so. Mnguni is back home continuing work on his PhD.