Professor Gerhard Maré holds a first degree in Political Studies and Literature, subsequent degrees in Comparative Literature, and in Development Studies, and a PhD in Sociology from the Universities of Natal (Durban) and the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg).
The themes that inform Maré’s teaching, research, and student supervision reflect a concern for democracy and transformation in South Africa. Early writing (for example for the South African Institute of Race Relations) produced a book on forced population removals and the Bantustan policies of the 1970s, and contributed to a focus on rural issues at a time when critical research post-Soweto 1976 was becoming predominantly urban-centred. He focused on issues of ethnic mobilisation during the 1970s and 1980s. His most recent research has been on nation-building, racism, and race thinking; yet collaborations with colleagues have resulted in publications with a much broader reach, for example on gender and on environmental issues. In his capacity as a supervisor and co-supervisor, Gerhard Maré mentors students who are developing research on regional politics, gender issues, xenophobia, cultural diversity, race and racism, workplace issues, HIV/Aids and traditional knowledge systems.
Active in Sociology and the programme in Industrial, Organisation and Labour Studies, in both of which he has served as Director, but consistently expressing an interest in developing cross-disciplinary interactions, Maré has taken an active role in university restructuring and in the merger process that has led to the formation of the University of KwaZulu-Natal out of the previous Universities of Natal and of Durban-Westville.
After a period of consultation on the desirability of such a centre as the ccrri is becoming, he guided the proposal for the creation of the Centre through the University structures, and was appointed Director at the end of 2006.