Prof Theodor Neethling
Political Studies and Governance
9A 115
Political Studies and Governance
IB 38
051 4019783
Flippie Groenewoud Building: Block A 115

Short CV


Publications (Short List)

Theo Neethling has held the position of Professor and Head of the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State since 1 April 2009. He has also been elected to serve as a member of the Executive Committee of Senate of the University of the Free State. He obtained his MA degree in 1989 from the Potchefstroom University (currently North-West University) and his DLitt et Phil in 1992 from the University of South Africa, both in the field of International Politics. After starting his professional career in the former Department of Constitutional Development in Pretoria, he joined the Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy) of Stellenbosch University. In this regard, he served as a senior researcher in the Centre for Military Studies. In 2002 he was appointed as Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science (Mil.) and promoted to Professor of Political Science in 2005. He served as Chair of the Department of Political Science (Mil.) in the Faculty of Military Science from 2003 to early-2009, until he moved to the University of the Free State.


Prof. Neethling is the author (and co-author in a few instances) of more than 157 publicised outputs in scientific and popular scientific publications, including 49 articles in accredited (listed) academic journals and nineteen chapters in scholarly book publications. These publications appeared in South Africa, Australia, Ethiopia, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, India, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Furthermore, he has presented 75 research papers at national and international level. In this regard, his project work has taken him to governmental and academic institutions in all five of Africa’s regions, Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. He also lectured in a visiting capacity at foreign institutions, most recently in Japan at Osaka University’s School for International Public Policy. He is currently serving on the editorial board of three academic journals, namely Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies, Cyber, Intelligence and Security, and Ante Portas – Security Studies. He also served as an advisory editor of the Journal of Contemporary History from 2009 to 2019 and as editor of Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies from 2003 to 2006. Prof Neethling is rated as a C category researcher by the National Research Foundation (since 2009) and his research interests mainly concern the peace and security landscape in Africa; Africa’s international relations; and the military instrument in South African foreign policy.


Area(s) of Interest

  • Security studies in the African context
  • Africa’s international relations
  • South Africa`s foreign policy and BRICS
  • The military instrument in South Africa`s foreign policy

Courses Presented

  • POLS3734: Political Risk Analysis and Strategic Planning
  • POLS3744: International Political Economy
  • PTW609: Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Community Service

Service Learning


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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