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Leonie Hoffmann is a doctoral candidate whose project examines a public employment programme in South Africa. Situated at the cross-section of social history, economic anthropology, and political thought, her research seeks to understand the relation between changing labour regimes, distribution, and political authority. Studying the discursive and practical evolution of the programme will help to understand how the state and proximate actors grapple with long-term work absence from an ideological and policy perspective. Studying how participants experience and contest the programme will shed light on aspirations and frustrations surrounding work, its social life, and evolving state-citizen relations. Mobilising these perspectives in wider debates about the future of work and progressive policy avenues will permit a critical interrogation of the assumptions and values at the core of potential pathways towards a more equitable future.
Leonie completed the MPhil in Development Studies at ODID with a prize-winning thesis on basic income policy debates in South Africa. She also gained her BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford, focusing on social and political theory. Prior to joining ODID, Leonie worked for Austria’s national labour organisation in a policy development and communications role. Further professional roles include social network analysis for regional development projects in North Africa, as well as fieldwork coordination at a large-scale programme evaluation in South Africa’s Eastern Cape run by the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford.
At ODID, Leonie’s research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), a Scatcherd European Scholarship (Oxford), and the Wilfrid Knapp Scholarship (St. Catherine’s College).