Stellenbosch University | Political Science



Dr Guy Lamb

Tel: +27 21 808 2388

Conflict and violence analysis; crime and violence prevention; policing; peacebuilding; international and regional security (Africa); urban safety.

BSocSci (Hons) (International and Comparative Politics); MSocSci (International & Comparative Politics); PhD (Criminology), Cape Town.

Peace and conflict in Africa; peace, conflict and violence theory; crime and policing; international security.


Dr Lamb currently serves as a Commissioner on the high-level South African National Planning Commission where he chairs the Commission’s Task Team on Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Task Team. Before joining Stellenbosch University Dr Lamb was the Director of Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town (UCT) (2012-2020) where he also taught in the Political Studies and Public Law departments. Prior to this he was a Senior Research Fellow and Programme Head at the Institute for Security Studies (2006-2012), and the Programme Manager at the Centre for Conflict Resolution (2000-2005). Dr Lamb was also a visiting scholar at the Nordic Africa Institute (2005) and the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (1998). He has undertaken research and published on arms control, violence reduction, urban safety, policing and peace-building issues in Africa for more than 25 years. He has served on the UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Liberia and was a member of the UN’s small arms control standards expert reference group. Dr works currently closely with various government departments on issues of crime and violence prevention.

Google Scholar profile

Academic publications

The South African Response to COVID-19: The Early Years. London: Routledge (with Pieter Fourie), 2023.

Policing and Boundaries in a Violent Society: A South African Case Study
(London: Routledge), 2022.


“Police work and the keeping of ‘the peace’ in African cities”, Acta Criminologica, 34(3), 2021.

“Safeguarding the Republic? The South African Police Service, Legitimacy and the Tribulations of Policing a Violent Democracy, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. 56, No.1, 92–108, 2021.

“Social Cohesion and Violence in South Africa: Constructing a Puzzle with Missing Pieces”, Crime, Law and Social Change, 72, 2019.

“Murder and the SAPS’ Policing of Illegal Firearms in South Africa”, Acta Criminologica, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2018.

“Police Militarization and the ‘War on Crime’ in South Africa”, Journal of Southern African Studies Vol. 44, No. 5, October 2018.

“The Conundrum of DDR Coordination: The Case of South Sudan”, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2018 (with Theo Stainer).

“Massacres and the Reform of the Police: South Africa Past and Present”, South African Crime Quarterly, 63, March 2018.

Articles in popular media

“Fear and policing in the time of Covid-19”, News24, 3 April 2020.

“How to Turn the Tide Against South Africa’s Crime Wave”, The Conversation, 21 February 2020.

“Boys to Violent Men: What We Know, and What We Can Do”, Daily Maverick, 15 September 2019 (with Cathy Ward, Shanaaz Mathews and Soraya Lester).

“Do Joint Police-Military Crackdown Operations Actually Reduce Violent Crime?” News24, 23 July 2019.

“Ramaphosa’s Plans Aren’t Enough to Adequately Tackle Violent Crime in South Africa”, The Conversation, 12 February 2019.

“Why the Global Survey on Safety is Deeply Flawed”, The Conversation, 6 August 2018.

“Squeeze, Stamp, Stabilise: SAPS’ Vicious Cycle of Crackdown Policing”, News24, 11 June 2018.