Prof Philip Frankel

Part-Time Lecturer in Politics

BA, BA(Hons), MA in International Relation (Wits) /
MA, PhD in Political Sociology & Behaviour (Princeton University)

Professor Frankel is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he obtained his Master of Arts in International Relations (Cum Laude) in 1974.

He then proceeded to Princeton University (New Jersey, United States of America) where he obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy, specializing in Political Sociology & Behaviour, in 1982.

Prior to going to Princeton he was a Junior Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was a Teaching Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. He returned to South Africa in 1977 and re-joined the staff of the Department of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand as a Lecturer.

He was appointed Senior Lecturer in 1982, Acting Head of the Department for 1987, Associate Professor in 2001 and was Head of Department in 2007. He served on the Executive Committee of the School of Social Sciences, was a member of the Faculty Board of the School of Humanities, and on other university committees. He was reappointed Head of Department in 2005.

In 2008 he resigned from the University to establish his own consultancy company, the Agency for Social Reconstruction. He remains the Executive Director of ASR which specializes in research, facilitation and project management in the general field of social and organizational transformation.

In 2018 he returned to the academic environment as Head of Department of Political Science at St. Augustine’s College in Johannesburg.

Professor Frankel is a South African citizen born in Johannesburg, He is married and has one daughter.

He currently resides in Johannesburg and is Director of the Agency for Social Reconstruction, a South African development consultancy.


Bachelor of Arts – University of the Witwatersrand, 1972

Bachelor of Arts (Hons: International Relations) Cum Laude – University of the Witwatersrand, 1973

Master of Arts – (International Relations) Cum Laude – University of the Witwatersrand, 1974

Master of Arts – Princeton University, USA (Political Sociology & Behaviour), 1977

Doctor of Philosophy –Princeton University (Political Sociology & Behaviour), 1982


As a result of his internationally published work, Professor Frankel is regarded as a global expert on military and organizational sociology with specialist capacity in the areas of behavior, development, transformation and risk management.

He has researched, facilitated, managed and implemented major programs for both the private and private sectors that have assisted with democratic development and consolidation (leading up to the and after the 1994 transition), with public policy making, and, since 2003, the alignment of the South African mining industry with the political circumstances of a post-apartheid environment.

His work has embraced local government restructuring, economic development, BEE, the organizational transformation of the South African armed forces, emergent entrepreneurial development for SMME’s, public opinion analysis, mass data-base analysis, integrated community development and corporate reconfiguration.

Since 2000, he has also worked on risk and social development policy with government regulators of the gambling industry (the National Gambling Board and the South African Lottery, as well as behaviour-based safety and sustainable development policy for the major South African mining houses.

He has a particular interest in youth development and the political sociology of children. He has authored major works on risk-taking among youth in the gambling industry (for the Department of Trade and Industry) and has worked on the issue of xenophobic attitudes among South Africa adolescents for the Department of Arts and Culture. He has also conducted two studies on the impact of National Lottery grants on social development.

From 2000 Professor Frankel became involved in the field of genocide studies. He subsequently worked for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation-Commission in Rwanda and thereafter did research for the International Criminal Tribunal established to investigate crimes against humanity in the 1977 Rwandan genocide.

He has written three books on the relationship between the South African military, democratic transition and the relationship between the armed forces in the process of democratic consolidation.

In 2012 Professor Frankel began research into labour trafficking in the South African mining industry. This led to a wider interest in human trafficking which resulted in the first (and only) book on the subject in South Africa.


Professor Frankel has published widely on political and social behavior in the democratic consolidation of South Africa since the early 1980’s. This includes definitive studies on governance, political violence, civil-military relations and sustainable development that have appeared in multiple prestigious journals. These include such American, British and European publications as the:

  • Journal of African Studies.
  • The Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics,
  • Comparative Politics,
  • Cahier d’Études Africaines.
  • The Journal of Modern African Studies,
  • African Studies Review,
  • Journal of Politics
  • Canadian Journal of African Studies.

He has also written extensively in the South African media on political and social developments as well as on safety behavior in the South African mining industry.

Professional Papers.

Many papers have been presented by Professor Frankel at innumerable institutions, seminars and conferences across the globe.


These organizations include, among many others, the –

  • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (Princeton),
  • Centre for International Affairs (Harvard),
  • Defense Intelligence College (Washington),
  • Kings College (London University),
  • Centre for Southern African Studies (York).
  • International Political Science Association,
  • International Institute of Sociology,
  • International Congress of Armed Forces and Society,
  • International Institute of Political Psychology,
  • International Network for Transitional Justice and Genocide
  • International Criminal Court
  • International Council for Mining and Minerals



Professor Frankel is the author of many books that have been published internationally. These include three books on the South African military in politics, two books on the political sociology of South Africa, several books on the mining industry as well as a recent and seminal study of human trafficking in the Republic.


  • Pretoria’s Praetorians: Civil-Military Relations in South Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984):
  • State, Resistance and Change in South Africa (Edited with Noam Pines and Mark Swilling)(London: Croom-Helm, 1988):
  • Marching to the Millennium: The Birth, Development and Transformation of the South African National Defence Force (Pretoria: South African National Defence Force, Corporate Communications, 1998):
  • Soldiers in a Storm: The Armed Forces in South Africa’s Democratic Transition (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press 2000)
  • An Ordinary Atrocity: Sharpeville and Its Massacre (London & New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) – Nominated as the Best Work in Contemporary History, 2002, by the New York Times.
  • Falling Ground: Behaviour-Based Safety in the Mining Sector of South Africa (Pretoria: Expectra Press, 2007
  • Terra Firma: Mine Safety in South Africa. (Pretoria: Expectra Press, 2010
  • Cordillera: Seguridad y Modification de la Conducta Humana en Las Minas del Peru (Buenos Aires:Universario Press, 2011
  • Between the Rainbows and the Rain: Marikana, Mine Safety and Labour Development in Modern South Africa (London: Satellite Press, 2013
  • Long Walk to Nowhere: Human Trafficking in Post-Mandela South Africa (London & New York: Routledge, 2016
Other Scholarly Contributions: 







Public Policy

Democracy & Governance

Human Trafficking

Armed Forces & Society

Human Rights




Mining Safety

Risk Behaviour

Organisational Transformation

Corporate & Visible Felt Leadership

Organisational Culture





Gambling Addiction

Youth & Gambling


Lotteries & Social Development


Professional Appointments – Project Management:

Professor Frankel has extensive experience in large-scale project management, research, facilitation and policy development. In 2001 he established the Agency for Social Reconstruction as a tool for international development, organizational transformation and other public policy issues. He remains it’s Executive Director.

ASR has, since its birth, been a specialist consultancy working with many of the major governmental, non-governmental, corporate and civil society organizations in South Africa, in Africa (especially Central Africa) as well as organisations with a global footprint.


The ASR Client Base (includes) -

  • Line Departments of South African Central Government – the Department of Justice, Housing, Local Government, Trade & Industry, Mineral and Energy Affairs
  • Provincial and Local authorities (nation-wide)
  • Major South African corporates – Anglo-American, AngloCoal, Anglo-American Platinum, AngloGold, Anglo-American Base Metals, BHP Billiton, South African Breweries
  • National Gambling Board, National Institute for the Study of Gambling, National Lottery Board
  • Embassies – United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Canada
  • American Chamber of Commerce
  • Australian Aid
  • Bureau for International Cooperation (Netherlands)
  • Centre for Policy Studies
  • Centre for Sustainable Mining and Industry
  • Chamber of Mines
  • Coaltech
  • Defence Intelligence Agency
  • Development Bank of Southern Africa
  • Friedrich Naumann Foundation
  • Human Sciences Research Council
  • Independent Elections Commission
  • Institute for Security Studies
  • International Criminal Tribunal (Rwanda)
  • National Association of Democratic Lawyers
  • National Gambling Board
  • National Lotteries Commission
  • National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (Rwanda)
  • Mining Health and Safety Council
  • Office of the President
  • South African National Defence Force
  • South African Police Services
  • United Nations Development Program
  • United Nations High Commission for Refugees
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • Wits Enterprise