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David Cooper (Emeritus Associate Professor)


Academic Profile

Since 2005, I have served as Head of Department, with a reduced teaching load. Was co-ordinator of 2007 Sociology Department Review (the first major review in 15 years, see departmental website for 2007 Review documents and Improvement Plan in 2008).

Current Teaching

  1. SOC 3007/3027F Social Research Methods: First 3 weeks of introductory lectures on an ‘Overview of Social Research Methods’ in preparation for each student undertaking a research project as a central component of the course.
  2. Soc3029S Industrial Society and Change: 4 weeks of lectures, focusing of trends towards a ‘global knowledge society’ in certain industrial sectors, and implications for South Africa’s NSDS (National Skills Development Strategy)
  3. Soc 5007F Economic and Social Change: core course for Masters students in Industrial Sociology and Development Studies programmes; section of 3 weeks focuses on ‘A “third capitalist industrial revolution”: new (and possible) relationships between a “knowledge society” and universities’

Current Research and Engaged Scholarship

My research area is focused on ‘The Sociology of Higher Education and Science Studies’ (see South African Sociological Association website, where I am convenor of a SASA Working Group of this name). Within this area, my current research interest centres on issues of ‘Universities and Engaged Scholarship’ – around which I wish to undertake all my current and future (next 5 years) masters and doctoral supervision work i.e. I believe in a relatively narrow focus of supervision at the upper postgraduate levels, as is the practice in fields of the Natural Sciences.

And main publications over past five years:


2011 The University in Development. Case studies of use-oriented research. Currently under publication by HSRC Press, Cape Town, date of book release July 2011.

Journal Articles

2009 ‘University-civil society (U-CS) research relationships: the importance of a “fourth helix” alongside the “triple helix” of university-industry-government (U-I-G) relations’. South African Review of Sociology 40(2):153-180.

2006 ‘International restructuring of higher education: comments on implications of global trends, for restructuring of sociology in South Africa’. South Africa Review of Sociology 37(2):260-292.

2005 ‘Applied research centres at South African universities: the relationship between “base” internal structures and network “superstructures”. Industry & Higher Education 19(2):143-153.

Chapters in Books

2009 ‘ILRIG in the 1980s. Worker booklets, conceptions and tensions.’ Pp.2-25 in Vaun Cornell and Jon Berndt (eds.), Internationalism then and now. ILRIG’s 25 years of workers’ education. Cape Town: ILRIG (International Labour Research and Information Group).

2009 ‘Reflections on the German left and the changing working class: 1905-1919.’ Pp.13-18 in Vaun Cornell (ed.), New forms of organization. Papers from the annual ILRIG-Rosa Luxemburg Cape Partners Conference 2009. Cape Town: ILRIG (International Labour Research and Information Group).

2008 ‘Universities in national development: perspectives on a second academic revolution linked to a third industrial revolution.’ Pp.54-65 of Heather Eggins (ed.), Selected Papers on Sharing Research Agendas on Knowledge Systems, Occassional Paper No. 16, UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge. Paris: UNESCO.

2007 Introduction ( of book, by deceased PhD student with 5 chapters edited by David Cooper), in Charlton Koen, Postgraduate Student Retention and Success: a South African case study. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

2007 ‘January 1919: Rosa Luxemburg, the Workers Council Movement and the German “Lost Revolution” of the 20th Century’. Pp. 41-80 in Arndt Hopfmann and Lenard Gentle (eds.), Political Power. State, Party and Popular Power. Proceedings of the Rosa Luxemburg Seminar 2007, ILRIG (International Labour Research and Information Group) and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Johannesburg: Regional Office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

International Website Publication

2009The university in national development: The role of use-inspired research. Proposed comparative case studies of community-engaged research.’ Original essay written for Research University Engaged Scholarship Toolkit of “Campus Compact” website (Essay selected for debate on Engaged Scholarship by Campus Compact of the USA).

You can download my detailed CV here.

David Cooper
BSc (Eng) UCT, DipSocSc, MSocSc, PhD Birmingham

Postal Address:
Department of Sociology
University of Cape Town
Private Bag
South Africa

021 650 3515

021 689 7576

David.Cooper [at]

By appointment only. Please email in advance.