I am an Honorary Professor at the Science Policy Research Unit and an Emeritus Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. I am also an Emeritus Professor at the Open University and Research Associate in Policy Research in International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM), University of Cape Town. In 2024 I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Johannesburg for my contributions to academy and society. My publications and policy support activities can be grouped into a series of subject matters – sustainable and inclusive development, techno-economic paradigms, globalisation and global value chains, productivity and innovation, appropriate technology, the impact of China (particularly on Africa), commodities and the terms of trade, industrial policy, and post-Apartheid transformation in South Africa.

Four themes cross-cut these individual research areas and follow from my experience as a political activist in my country of origin, South Africa during the Apartheid-era. The first is an ongoing concern with equity and sustainable development. The second is the critical importance of political economy and interdisciplinary enquiry to an holistic understanding of what has made the world we live in, and how we might change it for the better. The third is the centrality of technology to human progress – however, technology is socially shaped and innovation must be provided with directionality. Fourth, both because each of us has a responsibility to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable world and because we cannot understand the world from the vantage point of an ivory tower, research cannot be separated from action.

Honorary Doctorate at the University of Johannesburg

University of Johannesburg

Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa), Raphael Malcolme Kaplinsky

17 April 2024

University of Johannesburg

Public lecture by Prof. Raphael Kaplinsky – Industrial Policy For a Sustainable Future

17 April 2024


Book Presentation - Sustainable futures: An agenda for action


Lewes Open Meetings Blog

‘Reasons for Optimism’ with Professor Raphael Kaplinsky

Nexxworks Blog

The most awesome summer reading list in the history of humankind

Industrial Policy for Africa’s development

Africa Economy Webinar / Webinaire Africain sur l’Economie

28 February 2023

Science Summit at UNGA77 Sessions

South-South and North- South Cooperation for Innovation

September 2022

Science Summit at UNGA77 Sessions

Production Across Borders for Consumers across Borders

September 2022

Science Summit at UNGA77 Sessions

Transformative Innovation Policy and SDGs

September 2022

In Conversation Series

Carlota Perez in conversation with Raphie Kaplinsky

11 July 2022

Discussing the latest ideas shaping development

Sustainable Futures: An Agenda for Action – Raphael Kaplinsky

29 June 2022

Book Presentation

Sustainable Futures: An Agenda for Action – Raphael Kaplinsky

4 May 2022


Erika Kraemer-Mbula will engage in an intellectual-biographical conversation with Raphael Kaplinsky. A panel of scholars consisting of Carlota Perez, Norman Clark and Mike Morris will contribute to the discussion. Justina Onumah will moderate the session

21 March 2022


Dr. Raphie Kaplinsky on GCTV with Bill Miller

October 2021

Latest Book:

Sustainable Futures An Agenda for Action

Long before the pandemic, economies across the world were in trouble, with growth slowing across the board. This downturn coincided with growing inequality and social exclusion. Rising political dissatisfaction with ruling elites fuelled the rise of populism. Add to this the alarming environmental emergency and few can deny we live in a time of multiple sustainability crises.

While this conclusion can lead to despair, in this broad-ranging book Raphael Kaplinsky, a leading development policy analyst, argues that the future is not necessarily bleak. Interrogating the causes and nature of the systemic crises we are living through, he shows how the challenges which we now face mirror previous historical epochs, in which dominant ‘techno-economic’ paradigms flourish, mature and run into crisis. In each case, decisive action is required to move to a more economically and socially sustainable world. In our time, we are witnessing the exhaustion of the Mass Production paradigm. How we herald and manage the transition to the next paradigm – that of Information and Communications Technologies – will determine our capacity to build a more prosperous, equitable and environmentally sustainable world. This book sets out an integrated agenda for action by multiple stakeholders to achieve this end.


University of Sussex
Sussex House, Falmer
Brighton, BN1 9RH
United Kingdom


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