Introducing the Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholars of 2022
The MRF is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2022 Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships for doctoral study in the UK. The successful candidates are Gideon Basson (South Africa & Stellenbosch University, 2020) and Roné McFarlane (South Africa & University of Cape Town, 2014). The pool of applicants was of a high calibre and we are certain that Roné and Gideon will conduct doctoral research of outstanding quality and originality.
Gideon Basson: Poverty as a prohibited ground of discrimination under international human rights law
International anti-discrimination law has historically focused on defined status grounds such as race, gender, and disability. However there is increasing attention to economic inequality. This attention has called for a consideration of the possibilities of poverty as a prohibited ground of discrimination within human rights bodies. However, the doctrinal and critical legal theoretical foundations and the implications thereof for an obligation under international human rights law has received little academic attention. In his PhD research, Gideon will investigate the extent to which poverty is recognised as a prohibited ground of discrimination under international and regional human rights treaties. The study will explore the potential for developing a coherent, integrated approach to poverty-based discrimination under international human rights law. It aims to develop a framework of substantive equality that can be used by international human rights monitoring bodies to interpret the prohibition of discrimination on the ground of poverty.
More about Gideon
Gideon Basson holds a BA(Law), LLB and LLM (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University. He is a lecturer and researcher at the HFO Chair in Human Rights Law at Stellenbosch University, Department of Public Law. Gideon’s research interests pertain to the intersections of critical social theory and the law, with a specific interest in intersectional feminist-class, decolonisation and democratic theory alongside constitutional and human rights law.
Roné McFarlane: Contestations of power in South Africa’s schools
Since the promulgation of the South African Schools Act (1996), there has been a striking number of court cases around its provisions on the powers of school governing bodies (SGBs) versus. These power struggles featured prominently during the transition to democracy and have continued since, as the state has sought to remedy historical inequalities, and SGBs at formerly white schools have sought to retain powers. This study investigates whether and how contested ‘social imaginaries’ (ideas and values) about public schooling and justice are useful in explaining how school governance arrangements developed during the transition and to make sense of continued power struggles.
More about Roné
Roné McFarlane is currently the Senior Manager: Development and Research at Equal Education (EE). Before joining EE, she worked as a Research Advisor to Cambridge University's Faculty of Education and interned at the BBC in London. Roné holds an MSc in Comparative and International Education from Oxford University, which she obtained with distinction as a Chevening scholar. Roné serves as a trustee of the Bookery, an organisation that creates dynamic school libraries that inspire a love of reading. She was previously part of the organising committee for the Education Fishtank, a collective which hosts regular education seminars and a house leader for the NPO Echo Youth Development.
About the SJMS
The Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarships were previously known as the Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarship and renamed in 2020. The programme invites the MRF, after a rigorous selection process culminating in final interviews, to recommend two Mandela Rhodes Alumni to our partners The Leverhulme Trust in London. The Leverhulme Trust then assumes financial responsibility for doctoral study at a recognised UK institution of higher learning.
This opportunity is only available to alumni of the MRF, making it a very compelling and prestigious supplementary offering to the Mandela Rhodes experience. We greatly appreciate The Leverhulme Trust’s ongoing support which enables our exceptionally talented young academics to take the next steps on their leadership and academic journeys.