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Hybrid social movements in Africa

de Waal, Alex and Ibreck, Rachel (2013) Hybrid social movements in Africa. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 31 (2). pp. 303-324. ISSN 0258-9001

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Identification Number: 10.1080/02589001.2013.781320


This essay identifies patterns in the organisation and character of social movements in Africa, drawing upon examples from sub-Saharan Africa and finding connections with the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings. It pays attention to historicising social movements, global linkages and the problem of sustaining change. Rather than defining social movements in an a priori manner, or generalising from definitions derived from the western societies, it explores their concrete meanings in Africa. Thus it aims to avoid both the ‘false negative’ of overlooking genuine African social movements and the ‘false positive’ of labelling movements in a misleading manner. It identifies constraints upon collective action in Africa, exploring the political dynamics which undermine the formation of durable and organised movements and limit their capacity to represent popular concerns.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Justice and Security Research Programme
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2014 09:33
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 23:13
Funders: Social Movements and Political Change in Africa: Shaping Technologies for Change’

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