Elrena van der Spuy

Emerita Professor


Elrena van der Spuy is an Emerita Professor in the Department of Public Law, a member of the Centre of Criminology. She has a PhD from the University of Cape Town, a Masters degree in Sociology from University of Stellenbosch and has taught Sociology and Criminology at a number of Institutions. Elrena has published on crime and policing in South Africa, Africa and internationally. More recently she has begun to explore the role of police in peacekeeping on the one hand, and the role of the South African police in the border conflict of the post-1976 period of South African history on the other.

Recent projects include:

  • Police in the context of Peacekeeping - an exploration of the way in which the transnational space of peace missions places new demands on pockets of national police.
  • Policy transfer - on-going engagement with debates on policy transfer and emulation.
  • Policing conflict: challenges and dilemmas - an investigation into the politics and logistics of policing conflict and the conflict of policing through the examination of national and regional case studies.
  • Social history of criminal justice reform - exploring through a series of case studies the social histories of South African criminal justice reform with the view to documenting through oral histories the perceptions and experience of elites situated in policy networks, bureaucratic institutions and/or civil society structures of post-Apartheid reconstruction of criminal justice.

Recent publications

  • Van der Spuy, E. Forthcoming. "Crime and Justice in South Africa." In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Criminology. Ed. Richard Rosenfeld. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Van der Spuy, E. 2011. 'Police and the Policing of Conflict Reflections from Africa', African Security Review, 20(4): 1-4.
  • Van der Spuy, E. 2011. 'Policing Beyond the Domestic Sphere', African Security Review, 20(4): 34-44
  • Van der Spuy, E. 2011. 'Vigilantism'. in Johnson, K. & Jacobs, S. (eds) Encyclopedia of South Africa. Lynne Rienner
  • Berg, J. and E. van der Spuy. 2010. Challenges for the Good Governance of Security in the African Context. In Idriss, M., Jendly, M., Karn, J. and M. Mulone (eds) International Report on Crime Prevention and Community Safety: Trends and Perspectives. Montreal: International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, pp. 123-125.
  • Tait, S. and E. van der Spuy (eds). 2010. Cooperation and accountability in the Cross-border Policing of Southern Africa . Cape Town: APCOF and Centre of Criminology, University of Cape Town.
  • Van der Spuy, E. and J. Lever. 2010. Crime Prevention and Community in Africa. Global Consortium on Security Transformation. Working Paper Series (6).
  • Van der Spuy, E. 2010. Police Co-operation in the Context of Peacebuilding: Observations from African Quarters. In Lemieux, F. (ed) International Police Cooperation: Emerging Issues, Theory and Practice . Willan Publishers, pp 204-220.
  • Van der Spuy, E. 2010. The World Cup 2010 and Police Cooperation: The South African Case. In Tait, S. and E. van der Spuy (eds) Cooperation and accountability in the Cross-border Policing of Southern Africa . Cape Town: APCOF and Centre of Criminology, University of Cape Town.