Between the stretch and the stitch: Politics, principle and practice

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This article reflects on the influence of books on Neville Alexander's life, particularly the period spent on Robben Island, and how this came to shape his political imagination. It also centres on two abiding themes: Alexander's critique of what he saw as the African National Congress's multinationalism, and his idea of building a united nation - an idea best encapsulated by the title of his 1979 book, One Azania, one nation. The article concentrates on Alexander's incarceration on Robben Island (1964-1974) and his post-island life. It does not, therefore, include the important part that the Non-European Unity Movement played in the development of his ideas. In looking at the later years of Alexander's life, this author noted both a change in his style of writing and a possible re-orientation away from building a party, to one of encouraging localised people's power from below.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalEducation as Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Neville Alexander
  • Robben Island
  • multinationalism
  • racial capitalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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