Dr Gregory Houston is a chief research specialist at the HSRC and holds an MA in political studies from the University of the Witwatersrand and a PhD in political science from the University of Natal. He specialises in political history, democratisation, social cohesion, nation-building, identity politics and the history of the South African liberation struggle. .
Experience and special projects: He was formerly a research specialist in the DGSD research programme, a position which he held from April 1998 to December 2000. He has managed several projects recently, including the Ballot Paper Design project commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission prior to the 2019 elections. He has also managed an African Peer Review Mechanism Pre-Mission project in Kenya, which explored the state of political, economic and social governance in the country. Currently he manages a project on the development of a scholarly book on the history of the HSRC. .
Prior to joining the HSRC, he lectured for twelve years in the Department of Political Studies at the then University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University). While in the employ of the HSRC, he was seconded between September 2000 and December 2009 to the South African Democracy Education Trust (SADET), serving first as Project Coordinator and then as Executive Director.
During the past decade he has mostly conducted his research in the area of the history of the South African liberation struggle. In particular, his research has focused on the development of an Armed Living Struggle Museum in the Buffalo River area, the national liberation heritage route, and on life stories and autobiographies of veterans of the struggle. .
Publications: Dr Houston has published 10 scientific articles in both local and international peer-reviewed academic journals, 14 research reports, and 24 book chapters. He authored the book entitled The National Liberation Struggle: A case study of the United Democratic Front (UDF), 1983-87 (Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot, 1999), co-edited a book entitled Public Participation in Democratic Governance in South Africa (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, 2001), co-edited four books as part of the editorial collective of the South African Democracy Education Trust (eds) entitled The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1, 1960-1970 (Zebra Press, Cape Town, 2004), The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 2, 1970-1980 (UNISA Press, Pretoria, 2006), The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 3, International Solidarity (UNISA Press, Pretoria, 2008), The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 4, 1980-1990 (UNISA Press, Pretoria, 2010) and co-authored two books entitled Voices of Liberation: Chris Hani (HSRC Press, Cape Town, 2014) and The other side of freedom: Stories of hope and loss in the South African liberation struggle 1950-1994 (HSRC Press, Cape Town, 2017). He has also presented more than 19 papers at both local and international conferences. .