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Steven Friedman, Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Shir Hever, Raja Khalidi, Charlotte Kates, Max Ajl

Roundtable: Harold Wolpe’s Intellectual Agenda and Writing on Palestine

Introduction (by Max Ajl) In a well-known programmatic note on the relationship of theoretical work to politics, Harold Wolpe, a South African sociologist, anti-apartheid activist, briefly political prisoner, then exile, rejected two opposing positions on intellectual labor. The first was the assertion of complete autonomy, in the sense that research ought to simply emerge organically from the will and whims of the intellectual. The second was a stance of simple ...

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Steven Friedman, Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Shir Hever, Raja Khalidi, Charlotte Kates, Max Ajl


Steven Friedman is research professor in the Humanities Faculty of the University of Johannesburg. He is a political scientist who has specialized in the study of democracy. He researched and wrote widely on the South African transition to democracy both before and after the elections of 1994 and has, over the past decade, largely written on the relationship between democracy on the one hand, social inequality and economic growth on the other. In particular, he has stressed the role of citizen voice in strengthening democracy and promoting equality. He is the author of Building Tomorrow Today, a study of the South African trade union movement and the implications of its growth for democracy, and the editor of The Long Journey and The Small Miracle (with Doreen Atkinson), which presented the outcome of two research projects on the South African transition. His current work focuses on the theory and practice of democracy and his study of South African radical thought, Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid was published in 2015. He writes a weekly column in Business Day on current political and economic developments.

Abdel Razzaq Takriti is Associate Professor and Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History at the University of Houston. He is the author of Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965-1976 and co-author (with Karma Nabulsi) of The Palestinian Revolution website learnpalestine.politics.ox.ac.uk.

Dr. Shir Hever is an independent economic researcher and journalist. He writes articles and research for various venues and gives lectures in political and academic venues. He also reports for the Real News Network. Hever’s research topics include the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, the international aid to the Palestinians and to Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel and the Israeli arms trade and security sector. He is currently living in Germany, and is a graduate student at the Freie Universität in Berlin. His next book: Privatization of Security in Israelwill be published by Pluto Press in 2017. 

رجا الخالدي باحث تنموي اقتصادي متخصص في الأوضاع الفلسطينية في لبنان والاراضي المحتلة 1967 وداخل اسرائيل، وحصل على شهادة بكالوربوس من جامعتة اوكسفورد وشهادة ماجستير من جامعة لندن، وعمل بين عام 1985 و2013 في أمانة مؤتمر الأمم المتحدة للتجارة والتنمية (الاونكتاد)،  يعمل الان منسقا للبحوث في معهد ابحاث السياسات الاقتصادية الفلسطيني ماس.  

Raja Khalidi, was trained as a development economist, with a B.A.(Hons) from Oxford University and M.Sc. from University of London (SOAS). He has conducted research and published and lectured widely since 1980 on Palestinian economic conditions in Lebanon, in the Arab region in Israel and in the occupied territories. He worked with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1985 to 2013 and as senior economist he served as Coordinator of its Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian people, and Chief of the Office of the Director or the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies. He is currently Research Coordinator at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, MAS. While he is currently Research Coordinator at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, MAS, these reflections relate to his personal scholarship and writing over the past few years especially. 

Charlotte Kates is the coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. Based in Beirut, she is the coordinator of the US National Lawyers Guild International Committee and is a member of the Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Max Ajl studies development sociology at Cornell University and has been published in Middle East ReportHistorical Materialism, and the Guardian's Comment is Free.  He is an editor at Viewpoint and edits Jadaliyya’s Palestine and Political Economy pages.