Our Research


Through ILRIG’s research and education programmes we aim to bring the experiences of working and poor people in other countries to Southern African organisations, and to draw on this information to assist working-class formations to explore different ways of organising based on direct democracy, in order to build a counter-culture to capitalism, class rule, patriarchy, racism and the nation state. ILRIG provides tools of analysis for activists to deepen their understanding of the current context, chart a way forward for self-organising based on progressive principles, values and ethics, and to share information and insight into radically democratic working-class mass movements internationally. This shapes our current areas of research.


  • Workers and community members embarking on new or different forms of organising, including under COVID-19, and the need for progressive principles, ethics, values and practices to underpin this
  • Documenting and capturing the stories of activists involved in new forms of organising in South Africa, in particular women
  • Changes in capitalism, the restructuring of the working class and implications for organising, in particular women who form the majority of precarious workers and the unemployed
  • Alternatives to capitalism and nation states, with a focus on Democratic Confederalism and the Rojava Revolution
  • Land occupations and service delivery protests in South Africa
  • Changes within capitalism and the political terrain in South Africa, and the links and implications for land, housing, and community/service delivery struggles. In particular, our research has focused on how neoliberalism and cost recovery mechanisms for basic services mean that the burden of the reproduction of the working class has fallen more and more on working-class women, and black working-class women in particular
  • The impact of neoliberalism on education
  • The links between capitalism, climate change and COVID-19
  • Women’s oppression, social reproduction and capitalism, including under COVID-19
  • Women’s activism in community movements and worker formations
  • The shifts from neoliberal globalisation to neoliberal nationalism and its implications, including the rise in authoritarianism, ultra-nationalism and populism