Meet the Lecturers

Prof. Oren Yiftachel

oren yiftachelProf. Oren Yiftachel teaches political geography, urban planning and public policy at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Yiftachel is one of the main critical geographers and social scientists working in Israel.

Yiftachel studied in Australian and Israeli universities, and previously taught in urban planning, geography, political science and Middle East departments, at a range of institutions, including: Curtin University, Australia; the Technion, Israel; the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and UC Berkeley, in the US; University of Cape Town, South Africa and the University of Venice, Italy. He was a research fellow at RMIT, Melbourne; the US Institute of Peace, Washington DC; and the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem.

Yiftachel is the founding editor of the journal Hagar: Studies in Culture, Politics and Place, and serves on the editorial board of Planning Theory (essay editor), Society and Space, IJMES, MERIP, Urban Studies, Journal of Planning Literature, and Social and Cultural Geography.

Yiftachel has worked on critical theories of space and power; minorities and public policy; 'ethnocratic' societies and land regimes; He is currently working on three main research projects: the spatial transformation of Israel/Palestine; the geography of ethnocratic power structures; and the various shades of the 'grey city' using a comparative international perspective.

Yiftachel's work made several contributions: in urban and planning studies he was among the first to focus on the 'dark side' of urban planning and has contributed much to opening up planning theory to critical theory in general, and to issues of identity, power and space in particular. In political geography his groundbreaking work formulated the concept of 'ethnocratic' regimes, which has opened up several important debates in ethnic and racial studies, regime theories and research in Israel/Palestine and the Middle East. His comparative work has focused on analyzing spatial policy towards minorities in a range of multiethnic states, and most particularly Australia, Sri Lanka, Estonia and South Africa.

Yiftachel analyzes the Israeli regime as 'ethnocratic', promoting a colonial project throughout Israel/Palestine, and documents in great detail the spatial and political means of Israel's expansion and control, and Palestinian resistance and counter mobilization. However, he identifies Zionism as concurrently a liberating and oppressive project, and classifies it as 'colonialism of refugees', which draws much of its strength from the tragic Jewish history. Yiftachel's work is rich in spatial theorization, with development of concepts such as 'trapped minorities', 'fractured regions', 'internal frontiers', 'creeping apartheid', and 'gray urbanism'.

Yiftachel has worked as a planner and activist in a wide range of institutions, including the Perth City Council in Australia and the Kibbutz Movement in Israel. He specialized in advocacy planning and land consultancy. Recently he has worked on an Israeli-Palestinian plan for a bi-national Jerusalem; on an alternative plan for the unrecognized Bedouin villages in southern Israel, and on a plan for a multicultural Beer Sheva.

Yiftachel is also a board and founding member of several activist and professional organizations, including Faculty for Israel-Palestine Peace (FFIPP), PALISAD, The Coexistence Forum, Adva (centre for social equality); the Israeli Planning Association, Ekistics and Habitat International. He is a regular op-ed contributor to leading Israeli newspapers, including Haaretz, Ynet and Ma'ariv.

  • Yiftachel has published over 100 papers in leading journals and book chapters. Among his books:
  • Planning a Mixed Region: Political Geography in Galilee, Ashgate, 1991.
  • Urban and Regional Planning in Western Australia (with D. Hedgcock), Paradigm Press, 1992.
  • Planning and Social Control: Policy and Resistance in a Divided Society, Pergamon, 1995.
  • Ethnic Frontiers and Boundaries (with A. Meir), Westview, 1997.
  • The Power of Planning (with Hedgcock, Little, Alexander eds), Kluwer, 2002.
  • Israelis in Conflict (with Kemp, Newman, Ram eds), Sussex, 2004.
  • Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine, Pennpress, 2006.

For CV and full details see homepage:


Dr. Maxine David

maxine davidDr Maxine David is a Lecturer in the School of Politics, University of Surrey, UK. She convenes and leads modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including on International Intervention, Foreign Policy Analysis, Globalisation and Eastern Europe. She is a regular guest lecturer at the American International University in London, where she lectures on EU actorness in the context of a globalising world. She has also participated in teaching exchanges with the University of Agriculture, Jelgava, Riga. She adopts an experiential approach to learning. Thus, her students are encouraged to understand the necessity of active involvement in, and a reflective approach to, learning, which stimulates critical thought and conceptualisations. 

Her research to date has focused on the foreign policies of Russia and the European Union. She is currently joint coordinator and co-editor of a project mapping the 27 EU Member States relations with Russia and is responsible for writing the chapter on UK and Irish relations with Russia. A Special Issue with Journal of Contemporary Studies was published in 2011, which covers 15 of these relations. In 2013 a book covering the entirety of the bilateral relations will be published with Routledge. She is particularly interested in the role of structure, both domestic and international, and its effects on the capacity of states to operate as independent actors. Her future research projects will concentrate on the pressures that states face in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, especially in relation to their sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention.


Dr. Orli Fridman

orli fridmanOrli Fridman is the Academic director of the SIT study abroad program in the Balkans (Peace and Conflict Studies in Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo) and a lecturer at the Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK). She is the director of the Center for Comparative Conflict Studies (CFCCS). 

Dr. Fridman received her Ph.D. at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University (2006). Her interdisciplinary research interests focus on the internal dynamics of societies in conflict, the role of Social Memory studies in teaching and researching post conflict transformation and critical approaches encounters of groups in conflict.
Since 1994, Dr. Fridman has been involved in political education. She was trained as a facilitator for groups in conflict and worked with groups from Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Her recent publications include: "Structured Encounters in Post-Conflict/Post-Yugoslav Days: Visiting Belgrade and Prishtina," (Civil Society and Transitional Justice in the Balkans, 2013); "It Was Like Fighting a War with Our Own People: Anti-War Activism in Serbia during the 1990's'" (Nationalities Papers 39, 2011); "Breaking States of Denial: Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel after 2000" (Genero 10/11, 2007); and "Alternative Voices in Public Urban Space: Serbia's Women in Black" (Ethnologia Balkanica 10, 2006).


Dr. Jelisaveta Blagojević

jelisaveta blagojevicJelisaveta Blagojević received her Ph.D. in gender studies from the University of Novi Sad, Association of the Centers for Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies and Research. Her dissertation was entitled “Theoretical Contribution to Gender Studies: Discourses on Identity, Difference and Otherness” (2006). She received an M.Phil in gender and culture studies from Open University London and a B.A. in philosophy from the Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University. 

Dr. Blagojević teaches at the Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, and has served as the university’s dean of academic affairs since 2006. She also has worked at the Belgrade Women’s Studies and Gender Research Center as a coordinator and lecturer since 2001. Since 2003 she has been a visiting lecturer at the gender and politics program at the Political Science Faculty, Belgrade University. She has taught as a visiting lecturer at universities across Southeast Europe. 

Her publications include:

  • Media/Power/&, ed. Faculty of Media and Communications, Belgrade, (forthcoming)
  • "Between Walls. Provincialisms, human rights, sexualities and Serbian public discourses on EU integration" in De-Centring Western Sexualities - Central and Eastern European Perspectives, Robert Kulpa, Birkbeck College, London and Joanna Mizieliñska (eds.), Ashgate, UK, 2011.
  • "Kultura koja dolazi" ("Culture to Come") in Kultura, Drugi, Žene (Culture, Others, Women) eds. Svenka Savić, Jasenka Kodrnja and Svetlana Slapšak, Institut za društvena istraživanja, Hrvatsko filozofsko društvo and Plejada, Croatia, 2010
  • Hieroglyphs of Jealousy, Research Center in Gender Studies, Euro-Balkan Institute Skopje, 2008
  • Zajednica onih koji nemaju zajednicu (Community Without Community), FMK, Belgrade, 2008 
  • Gender and Identity, ed. Collection: See Theories in Gender Studies, (Skopje, Ljubljana, Belgrade) in 2006.

Her research interests include contemporary (political) philosophy, media studies, queer studies, and gender studies. She was born and currently lives in Belgrade.



  • Karadjordjeva 65
    11000 Belgrade, Serbia


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