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Naked bodies and collective action: repertoires of protest in Uganda’s militarised, authoritarian regime

Abonga, Francis, Kerali, Raphael, Porter, Holly E. and Tapscott, Rebecca (2019) Naked bodies and collective action: repertoires of protest in Uganda’s militarised, authoritarian regime. Civil Wars. ISSN 1369-8249 (In Press)

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Abstract

How can citizens living under increasingly militarized and authoritarian regimes exercise political voice? To answer this question, this article focuses on an ancient form of protest: the baring of naked bodies. This long-standing and widespread approach to challenge authority has remained marginal to studies of popular protest—and although it may be used infrequently, its conditions of possibility offer insight into the available avenues for collective opposition to violent and oppressive rule. Using an in-depth study of naked protest in modern day Uganda, this article finds that naked bodies allow citizens to employ three types of overlapping and entwined power to confront the much more powerful state in a highly militarized public sphere: biopower, symbolic power, and cosmological power. The study illustrates one way in which citizens seek to engage militarized regimes—and in doing so, how political voice is pushed into particular forms with limited capacity to instigate broader political claim-making that might be associated with country- or region-wide political action.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/africa/centre-for-public-auth...
Divisions: IGA: Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa
International Development
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 11:21
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 00:47
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102135

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