Associate Professor Julie Berg



Julie holds a BSocSci(Hons) MSocSc (with distinction) and PhD from the University of Cape Town. Julie’s research focuses primarily on innovations in security governance (in Africa), collaborative policing and policing networks, as well as issues of legitimacy, accountability and democratic security governance for the public good. She has also been actively involved in developing design principles for effective and accountable security governance, based on her research. In this regard, Julie has made a number of policy contributions towards developing frameworks and guides for better safety and security in South Africa. Her recent contributions to policy include co-developing a paper and presentation to the South African National Planning Commission (NPC) on Achieving Sustained Citizen Safety in South Africa. The submission of the paper informed the National Planning Commission’s key vision document The National Development Plan 2030.

Julie was also an expert witness for The Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha and is currently involved in implementing, in Khayelitsha (and in co-operation with the government, state police and local civil society) some of the key recommendations made in the report to improve safety in Khayelitsha. Related to this, Julie is involved in collaborating with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape in South Africa to develop a ‘whole-of-society’ approach to safety, which entails reshaping and improving safety and security in communities.

Julie is a steering committee member of the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) at UCT, which is a network of scholars geared towards research and policy engagement on issues of violence in Africa. She is a council member of the Criminological and Victimological Society of Southern Africa (CRIMSA) and an editorial board member of the journal Acta Criminologica.


Research Interests:


 African polycentric security governance systems (focus on legitimacy, accountability & equitable security for the public good); Non-state organised violence, particularly the private security industry; Design principles for effective and accountable security governance 



Julie is involved in teaching a variety of criminology postgraduate courses within the Criminology, Law and Society Masters programme in the Law Faculty and an undergraduate course in the Humanities Faculty, as follows:

• Crime and Deviance in South African Cities PBL2800F

• Theories of Crime and Social Order PBL5820F

•  Law in Action: Research Methods PBL5849F

•  Police and Policing: Explorations in Security Governance PBL5844S

•  Issues in Crime & Justice: Organised Non-state Violence in Africa PBL5660S


Recent Publications:


Berg, J. and S. Howell (2015) Civilian Oversight of Police in Africa: Trends and Challenges. In Prenzler, T. and G. den Heyer (eds) Civilian Oversight of the Police: Advancing Accountability in Law Enforcement. CRC Press: London, pp. 121-138.

Berg, J. and S. Howell (2015) Running the Gauntlet: Police Strategies and Responses to Strike Action. In Hepple, B., Le Roux, R. and S. Sciarra (eds) Laws Against Strikes: The South African Experience in an International and Comparative Perspective. FrancoAngelli: Rome, pp. 185-204.

 Nakueira, S. and J. Berg (2015) Innovations in the Governance of Security: Lessons from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  In Albrecht, J., Dow, M., Plecas, D. and D. Das (eds) Policing Major Events: Perspectives from Around the World. CRC Press, pp. 60-73.

Berg, J. with C. Shearing (2015) New Authorities: Relating State and Non-state Security Auspices in South African Improvement Districts.  In Albrecht, P. and H. Kyed (eds) Policing and the Politics of Order-making. Oxon and New York: Routledge, pp. 91-107.

Berg, J., Nakueira, S. and C. Shearing (2014) Global Non-state Auspices of Security Governance.  In Arrigo, B. and H. Bersot (eds) The Routledge Handbook of International Crime and Justice Studies.  Oxon: Routledge, pp. 77-97. 

Diphoorn, T. and J. Berg (2014) ‘Typologies of Partnership Policing: Case Studies from Urban South Africa’, Policing & Society, 24(4):425-442. 

Berg, J. (2013) Governing Security in Public Spaces: Improvement Districts in South Africa.  In Lippert, R. and K. Walby (eds) Policing Cities: Urban Securitization and Regulation in a 21st Century World.  Oxon: Routledge, pp. 161-175.

Berg, J., Akinyele, R., Fourchard, L., van der Waal, K. and M. Williams (2013) Contested Social Orders: Negotiating Urban Security in Nigeria and South Africa. In Bekker, S. and L. Fourchard (eds) Governing Cities in Africa - Politics and Policies. Cape Town: HSRC press, pp. 169-188. 

Berg, J. (2013) ‘Civilian Oversight of Police in South Africa: From the ICD to the IPID', Police Practice and Research, 14(2):144-154.