Ronald Suresh Roberts

Ronald Suresh Roberts

Visiting Senior Fellow

Department of Sociology

Key Expertise
Human Rights, Politics, Law, South Africa, USA, Biography, Decoloniality

About me

Ronald Suresh Roberts has an extensive background in the law, politics, policy and culture of South Africa and the African diaspora since 1994.

With Kader Asmal and Louise Asmal he co-authored Reconciliation Through Truth: A Reckoning of Apartheid’s Criminal Governance (1996, second edition 1997), a founding text within the anti-colonial South African discourse of truth and reconciliation.  This text stands as a critique of the neoliberal “transitional justice” model that was installed in its place as the operations of the TRC unfolded.  Roberts also served as policy and strategy advisor to Asmal in the 1998 water law reforms that were honoured with the Stockholm Water Prize.

Before that, Robert’s Clarence Thomas and the Tough Love Crowd: Counterfeit Heroes and Unhappy Truths (New York University Press, 2nd Edition, 1996), established him as “a cultural critic in the tradition of Cornel West, Trey Ellis, Michele Wallace, and bell hooks, with a powerful, passionate, and brash voice” (Angela P. Harris, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley).  The New York Times described his No Cold Kitchen: A Biography of Nadine Gordimer, (STE, 2005) as “the talk of literary South Africa”.  With Fit to Govern: The Native Intelligence of Thabo Mbeki (STE, 2007), he mounted what was termed a “persuasive analysis of the historical and global traditions behind many of [South African President Thabo] Mbeki’s decisions” (Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg).

Roberts previously graduated from Harvard Law School (LLM) and Balliol College (BA, Law).  His Visiting Senior Fellowship is supported by a dedicated AHRC/NWCDTP award associated with his AHRC/NWCDTP research at the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice.