Janis van der Westhuizen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, about 50 kms (31 miles) outside Cape Town, South Africa where he has been teaching since 2002. He was born into an Afrikaans-speaking family in Johannesburg (hence his name is pronounced as if it has a double, long ‘aa’ and not like Janis Joplin). He obtained his PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and taught at the University of Natal in Durban, before moving to Stellenbosch, where he has also been the Academic Coordinator for the BA International Studies programme for many years.
Besides teaching an upper level (4th year) module on comparative development, he also traditionally teaches a 3rd year level course comparing the political economy of Brazil and South Africa and a second year level comparative politics course. He previously also taught courses on international relations, globalization and foreign policy. His current research interests focus on the intersection of foreign policy and comparative politics of the Global South, more specifically on South Africa and Brazil. He is a National Research Foundation research-rated scholar (2019-2023) and was a Visiting Fellow at the BRICS Policy Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012 and has been a guest lecturer in Leipzig, Halifax, St. Petersburg, Tokyo and Milan. Besides being an avid traveller, he loves movies, potting around the garden and hopes to one day get sufficient time off from teaching and administration to finally learn Portuguese.