Sylvia Croese

My work straddles various academic disciplines ranging from political science, sociology, anthropology and geography to urban and development studies more broadly, with a focus on Southern and Lusophone Africa. My current research examines the governance, localisation and implementation of global urban policy. As part of the international comparative Mistra Urban Futures research project on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) I work as an embedded researcher in the City of Cape Town. Building on this work, my PEAK research project “Assessing SDG localisation in Cape Town” looks at the case of Cape Town to assess the dynamics of SDG localisation to gain a better understanding of the context specific ways in which cities produce knowledge and engage with global (urban) development policies, agendas and monitoring frameworks. Throughout the course of 2019 I organise a monthly seminar series with the aim of offering a space for different actors to come together to exchange thoughts, experiences and discussions related to the SDGs. The LIRA Agenda 2030 research project that I lead on as a Principal Investigator in turn focuses on Co-producing urban knowledge in Angola and Mozambique through community-led data collection: towards SDG 11.


I have a PhD in Sociology obtained in 2013 through the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences and the African Doctoral Academy of University of Stellenbosch under the supervision of Prof Simon Bekker and Prof Edgar Pieterse. My PhD research on the politics of state-led development in urban Angola built on my work as an independent researcher and consultant in Luanda. Over the past years, I have taught several under- and postgraduate courses in political sociology, social justice and inequality, political and cultural change in contemporary South Africa as well as research methods in the departments of Sociology of Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town as a post-doctoral research fellow and guest lecturer.


Journal articles

  • (2019). “He will know how to explain”: everyday popular politics in post-war urban Angola Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 39 (1): 37-48.
  • (2019). Adapting the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda to the city level: Initial reflections from a comparative research project, International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, DOI:10.1080/19463138.2019.1573172 (with Sandra C. Valencia, David Simon, Joakim Nordqvist, Michael Oloko, Tarun Sharma, Nick Taylor Buck & Ileana Versace)
  • (2018).Global urban policymaking in Africa: a view from Angola through the redevelopment of the Bay of Luanda’. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research DOI:10.1111/1468-2427.12591
  • (2017). ‘Ordering power? The politics of state-led housing delivery under authoritarianism – the case of Luanda, Angola’. Urban Studies org/10.1177/0042098017732522(with Anne Pitcher)
  • (2017). ‘State-led housing delivery as an instrument of developmental patrimonialism: The case of post-war Angola’. African Affairs 116, pp. 80-100.
  • (2016). ‘Towards Habitat III: confronting the disjuncture between global policy and local practice on Africa’s ‘challenge of slums’’. Habitat International 53, pp. 237-242. (with Liza Cirolia and Nick Graham)
  • (2015).Inside the government, but outside the law: residents’ committees, public authority and twilight governance in post-war Angola’. Journal of Southern African Studies 41 (2), pp. 405-417.


Working papers


Book chapters

  • (2017).Turbo-Suburbanism in a Post-conflict African City – Luanda, Angola’. In Alan Berger and Joel Kotkin, eds. Infinite Suburbia. Boston: MIT Press, pp. 722-731 (with Anne Pitcher)
  • (2012). ‘1 million houses? Angola’s national reconstruction and Chinese engagement’. In Marcus Power and Ana Cristina Alves, eds. China and Angola. A marriage of convenience? Oxford: Pambazuka Press, pp. 124-144.


Book reviews


Other media