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

We Are Deferent

In Unity Is Weakness

WOULDN’T this country be a better place if the politicians in the new government ignore their differences and work for the good of the nation? Despite a chorus we hear today, it would not.

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GNU Leaders

The Message The Coalition Must Hear

IF politicians who call themselves democrats do not hear those who elected them, they should not be surprised when voters threaten democracy by turning their back on them.

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When  ‘Inclusion’ Undermines Democracy

The apartheid government’s negotiators in the 1990s must be thrilled that one of their chief ploys is being wheeled out in bargaining over the coalition government –ironically by some of those they then hoped to undermine. In both cases, the aim is to devalue the people’s voice.

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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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