ISBN 9781928341031
Pages 136
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2016
Publisher Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA), South Africa
Format Paperback

The Role of Intellectuals in the State-Society Nexus


If we are to talk about a ‘new’ intellectual movement, the question is begged: what happened to the ‘old’ intellectual movement? What happened to the thinkers who inspired and led our struggle against colonialism, apartheid and exploitation? What has happened to the thinkers who gave substance and guidance and, in many cases, practical leadership to our attempts to undo the past and forge a new future?

In pursuit of answers to these questions, the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), in partnership with the Liliesleaf Trust, hosted a roundtable in March 2015 with the theme ‘The Role of Intellectuals in the State-Society Nexus’. Inputs were provided by a range of thinkers, including Ibbo Mandaza, Ben Turok, Ari Sitas, Ayanda Ntsaluba, Xolela Mangcu, Joel Netshitenzhe, Tshilidzi Marwala and Nomboniso Gasa, as well as provocative and piercing contributions from the attendees.

This publication aims to put the inputs and debates at the roundtable further into the public domain, and simply records the contributions of the main speakers, the respondents, as well as the discussion from the floor. The rigorous debate at the roundtable spilled out of the boundaries of the event itself and encouraged a number of thinkers to provide additional material for this publication: Z. Pallo Jordan, David Moore (with Tshilidzi Marwala) and Desiree Lewis.

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About the Author


The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) was founded by a group of South Africans with experience in research, academia, policy-making and governance who saw the need to create a platform of engagement around strategic issues facing South Africa. It is an Institute that combines research and academic development, strategic reflection and intellectual discourse. It applies itself to issues such as economics, sociology, history, arts and culture and the logics of natural sciences.

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