While in South Africa to conduct field research on political violence, Daniel Douek had a fortuitous encounter that transformed his entire journey and his understanding of local realities.
In 2009, Daniel traveled to South Africa to undertake field research on urban violence for his doctoral dissertation. After staying on the straight-and-narrow path for the first few days, interviewing experts in air-conditioned offices in the capital of Pretoria, he encountered a group of South Africans who told him that if he really wanted to understand violence in South Africa, they would take him to the Eastern Cape, a 13-hour drive away, where he could meet family members of theirs who had participated in the armed struggle against apartheid. He gave up all his carefully-laid plans to pursue this opportunity. Daniel Douek, PhD, is a lecturer in Political Science at Concordia and McGill Universities in Montreal. He specializes in African Politics.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at
TEDxTalks, English, Canada, Humanities, Africa, Civil War, Human Rights
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