Michael Neocosmos

Thinking freedom: achieving the impossible collectively

Michael Neocosmos

An interview with Michael Neocosmos first published by the Transnational Institute.

From ‘Foreign Natives’ to ‘Native Foreigners’: Explaining Xenophobia in Post-apartheid South Africa

From ‘Foreign Natives’ to ‘Native Foreigners’

An analysis of xenophobia in South Africa that foregrounds the role of the state.

From people's politics to state politics: aspects of national liberation in South Africa 1984-1994


This article, written in 1994, the first year of the 'new South Africa', examines the shift from popular people's politics to state politics during the transition from apartheid.

Mass mobilisation, ‘democratic transition’ and ‘transitional violence’ in Africa

Michael Neocosmos on how 'democratic transitions' are about handing power over to (often neo-colonial) 'experts'.

Michael Neocosmos on the Political Meaning of the Attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo

An essay by Michael Neocosmos on the political significance of the attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo and the state of democracy in South Africa. He also develops a periodisation of the failures of post-apartheid democracy.

The Pogroms in South Africa: The Politics of Fear and the Fear of Politics

A response to the recent pogroms in South Africa from Michael Neocosmos.

Civil society, citizenship and the politics of the (im)possible: rethinking militancy in Africa today

Abahlali baseMjondolo protest in Durban

Michael Neocosmos on the rising tide of politics at a distance from the state in Africa.