Steven Friedman

About Me...

Steven Friedman is a public commentator and an academic, currently employed as a Research Professor at the University of Johannesburg. He has been writing on South African politics for the entire democratic period both as a scholar and public commentator. He has published books on South Africa’s transition to democracy, the role of the trade union movement, and current South African politics. He has also written columns and articles for several South African newspapers. His writing seeks to use academic research to shed light on current politics but to ensure that this is conveyed in a way easily understood by people who have no academic training.

Welcome To Against The Tide

Against the Tide is an emailed column commenting on current South African politics and, occasionally, on events elsewhere in the world.  It aims to offer a different perspective from mainstream news and commentary by looking beneath the surface and, where necessary,  challenging much of the thinking in South Africa’s public debate.


Latest ArticleS


The Last Year Of The Mammoths?

THIS year’s election may be the last in which large parties dominate. And because the days of the large parties are ending, coalitions are sure to become part of the political furniture. Politicians and citizens are yet to adjust to this.

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The Business As Messiah Myth

THE belief that some of us are better than others did not die in 1994. It is not only alive – it can be so deeply embedded in what we hear and read that we do not even notice it .

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Old Articles

A Colonial White Paper

THE Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, would no doubt be horrified to be called a champion of colonial thinking. So would many whose loud voices agree with him. But that is exactly what they are.

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Applying To Be Human?

WHY do we take it for granted that human beings should stand in a line and fill out forms to claim one of our most basic rights?

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