Vale Peter Christopher

Vale Peter Christopher was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2015. As a fellow, Vale Peter Christopher contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

South Africa
Year elected
Cultural Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences

Peter Vale is Professor of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa, as well as Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS). JIAS launched in May 2015 and is a joint initiative of UJ and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. JIAS aims to reach beyond the regular teaching and research routines of contemporary higher education by encouraging collaborative and focused scholarly initiatives in both the Humanities and Physical Sciences. Born in Duiwelskloof (now Modjadjiskloof), he matriculated from Capricorn High School in 1965 and went on to do a BA Hons degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, in International Relations graduating in 1973. He then completed his MA in Politics at Leicester University, United Kingdom (UK), in 1977, as a full-time student, and PhD in 1980 at the same institution, part-time. Vale started his career as a Financial Journalist in 1971 and moved into academia as the Assistant Director of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in 1973. He went on to work as a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the UK (1978-1979) and, later, as a Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at Wits. In 1981 Vale returned to SAIIA as the Director of Research. Successively, thereafter he was Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University (1983-1988) and of the Centre for Southern African Studies at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) (1989-1998). Professor Vale also served as the Acting Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Deputy Vice Chancellor at UWC between 1999 and 2001. From 2001-2003 he was a Senior Professor in the School of Government at UWC, before returning to Rhodes University as the Nelson Mandela Chair of Politics. In 2010 Vale moved to UJ. Currently, Vale Chairs the Academy Advisory Board of STIAS (The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study), and the ASSAf Standing Committee on the Humanities. Between 2008 and 2011, he co-chaired (with Jonathan Jansen) the first inquiry into the state of the Humanities in South Africa for the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Among visiting appointments, he has been UNESCO Professor of African Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands (1996-97); Fellow at the International Centre for Advanced Studies, New York University (2002); and Professor of Politics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (2008). He has also been is also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway (2012). Professor Vale has been honoured with the International Medal of the University of Utrecht and Rhodes University’s Distinguished Senior Research Award. His 2003 book, Security and Politics in South Africa: The Regional Dimension, received the Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award at Rhodes University. He is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf), a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa (FRSSAf), Lid van Die Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (LAkadSA), and Fellow of the World Academy for Arts and Science (FWAAS). In 2013, Vale delivered the E.H. Carr Memorial Lecture at Aberystwyth University, Wales, the most prestigious lecture in the field of International Relations.Vale has been a prolific contributor to public debate in South Africa and elsewhere, and continues to write on Higher Education for the Johannesburg-based national weekly Mail & Guardian. Professor Vale’s research interests included social thought, intellectual traditions in South Africa, the future and politics of higher education and the origins of International Relations in South Africa. He has published extensively (both at home and abroad) in all these fields. His most recent co-edited books were on South African Intellectual Traditions (with Lawrence Hamilton and Estelle H Prinsloo),Critical Perspectives on South Africa after 20 years of democracy (with Estelle H. Prinsloo), and Political Studies in South Africa (with Pieter Fourie).