In this research cluster, work focuses on: i) different aspects of popular politics, and ii) violence. With regard to the first focus, work on South Africa aims to understand the complexities of democracy since 1994 through research on different cycles of protest undertaken by social and community movements; attitudes to and experiences of electoral politics; changing 'movement landscapes'; and corruption. These different lines of enquiry are being extended in a collaborative research initiative with colleagues from countries making up the BRICS, that is, Brazil, Russia, India and China, that focuses on developing comparative ways of understanding common questions around neoliberalism, precariousness and popular politics, as well as producing new knowledge about them. The second focus unfolds in a project bearing the title 'Violent States, States of Violence', that brings together MA and PhD students working on different aspects of this theme, and that aims to shape an interdisciplinary body of knowledge and network of scholars that can contribute to understanding the complexities of the violence that characterises life across 'the global south' at the level of the individual, and society. The project aims to destabilise prevailing approaches to and conceptions of violence in the social sciences and humanities, with the goal of establishing new forms of thought and analysis in the field of violence studies.