Vanya Gastrow

Vanya Gastrow completed her PhD at the ACMS in 2017. She holds a BA LLB Mphil (private law) from the University of Cape Town, and is an admitted attorney. Vanya’s main research interest is in law and society, with particular focus on the situation of foreign migrants. Vanya first joined the ACMS in 2010 as a Visiting Researcher tasked with exploring the ability of migrant traders to access justice institutions when they were victims of crime. She went on to study the formal and informal regulation of migrant informal traders in Cape Town, and the contribution of migrant traders to local economies. Much of this research exposure informed her doctoral studies. Vanya’s thesis was titled Shop gevaar: a socio-legal critique of the governance of foreign national spaza shopkeepers in South Africa. It examines the relationship between law, politics and belonging through a case study of the formal and informal governance of Somali migrant traders in Cape Town.