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Political Rights and Economic and Social Rights in Informal Economies: A View from Cape Town

November 29, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Political rights possess significant potential to facilitate the realization of economic and social rights by allowing marginalized groups to make claims on the state in the pursuit of justice, empowerment and equality. This is particularly promising for individuals engaged in informal economic activity who, by definition, face significant forms of exclusion. Cape Town, South Africa, is in many ways a model for this idea: following its post-apartheid democratization process, governments at the local, provincial and national level officially recognize the value of informality and have adopted policies to support it. Yet the economic and social rights of those who engage in informal economic activity remain unrealized. This presentation examines why this is the case. It will also consider what focusing on migrants in Cape Town’s informal food economy can add to our understanding of this puzzle.

About the speaker

Graeme Young is a Lecturer in Social and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. He is a former QES Scholar who served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a Visiting Researcher at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town with the Hungry Cities Partnership. Graeme received his PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2018.


MiFOOD is hosting a series of webinars on various topics about migration and food security that highlight the progress of the project. These webinars include conceptual discussion, empirical findings and policy analysis. Through these webinars, we intend to build a community with various stakeholders for knowledge sharing, deepen the understanding of the complex intersections between migration and food security, and facilitate the discussion of effective policy interventions. Follow the MiFOOD Twitter (Moving on Empty), Like the MiFOOD Facebook page to be notified about upcoming webinars.

Man standing in the middle of a market of apples.

Photo credit: Zhenzhong Si/MiFOOD


November 29, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON Canada
View Venue Website

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