Multilevel Government, Law and Development

The Institute's work on multilevel government is based on the importance of provincial and local governments throughout Africa to realise development, deepen democracy and promote peace. The organisation of states into multiple levels, be it through decentralisation, devolution or federalism is a critical factor in the success of many African countries, including South Africa. We conduct research, advocacy, consultancy services and postgraduate education. It includes the work of the SARChl Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development (Prof Jaap de Visser).

The research has five focal areas:

  • examining the strengths and weaknesses of MLG in South Africa, resulting in publications on policy, laws, jurisprudence, and practice
  • the use of MLG as a vehicle for peace-making, state-building and development in Africa. 
  • how MLG – a dominant feature in all five BRICS countries – is impacted on and, in turn, may impact on the BRICS’s initiative.
  • locating the South African and African MLG experience within the global discourse.
  • building intellectual capacity through a dedicated masters in MLG, a doctoral programme and post-doctoral fellowships. 


Project administrator: Laura Wellen


Research & Publications Research & Publications

The South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy started in 2013. It continues the work of the Local Government Project of the Community Law Centre (later: Dullah Omar Institute). Below is a selection of research papers published by the Community Law Centre on provincial and local government matters.

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