Alex Dyzenhaus

Graduate Student


I'm a fifth year PhD Candidate in Comparative Politics with a minor in American Politics. I study land reform in South Africa and Kenya and have done fieldwork in both countries. My research is supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.

Research Focus

My research focuses on the political economy of land redistribution and land titling. What determines subnational differences in various land reforms? How are they implemented and what effects do they have on targeted beneficiaries?

For my dissertation, I focus on South Africa’s attempt to redistribute land in the post-Apartheid era. Specifically, I ask how market institutions might impede or assist the state in its attempt to right historical racially motivated land dispossession. I was conducting fieldwork in South Africa from September 2019 until March 2020 before the pandemic and hope to return as soon as possible.

I have also studied accountability and impeachments, elections, representation in local governments and the politics of identity. Much of my past work has been done in Kenya, where I wrote my masters dissertation looking at decentralisation in the context of historical land conflict. I am also working on an experiment on election violence programming in Liberia. 

I have been affiliated at the British Institute in Eastern Africa and Strathmore Law School in Nairobi, the Land and Accountability Research Centre at the University of Cape Town and the International Relations Department at the University of the Witwatersrand.