The Nelson Mandela initiative: the challenges of a partnership between the state, civil society and the university
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This brief contribution is part of a larger intellectual project to determine whether there is in the work and experience of the MI a specific methodology for bringing together in a robust yet generative partnership the autonomous and distinct sectors of the state, the academy and civil society. Are there, the project asks, distinct principles and operational modalities that are necessary for the making and sustaining of partnerships such as these? This paper, towards that larger project, seeks to introduce and put into perspective the organisational and strategic challenges that arose in putting together the partnership. It begins with a brief two-part introductory description of the challenge of poverty and inequality in South Africa and of the institutional response to it represented in the MI. It then focuses on the issues that emerged in building the partnership.