Laurence Piper is a Political Scientist at the University of the Western Cape. He is interested in questions of citizenship, democracy and state-society relations at the local level in South Africa and comparatively. Forthcoming publications address issues of xenophobia and economic competition, urban and gender-based violence, and the role of intermediaries in local state-society relations. Look out for his co-edited book ‘Mediating Citizenship: The Informal Politics of Speaking for Citizens in the Global South’ forthcoming with Palgrave McMillan later in 2014. Laurence is also the co-convenor of the Collaboration for Research on Democracy along with Joanna Wheeler.