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Governance from below? Non-state actors, environmental politics and agency in Africa 
Abdul-Gafar Oshodi (Lagos State University)
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Palmer 1.09
Wednesday 28 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Africa is confronted by multidimensional environmental challenges. Yet, non-state actors have demonstrated agency. We invite contributions that shed light on how –when, which, and/or why– non-state actors have engaged with environmental challenges in Africa and navigated its politics.

Long Abstract:

The devastating impact of climate change has been felt in Africa. While important decisions about how to address the environmental challenges on the continent have been made at the level of the State, non-state actors are increasingly elemental and, indeed, have in many cases driven the process. Non-state actors –used here to mean individuals, non-governmental and civil organisations, social movements, opinion leaders, and others that are not affiliated to, directed or directly funded by government– have been involved at different levels. From mass protests at global environmental/non-environmental events, hosting online campaigns, financial commitment to one-person campaigns, non-state actors in Africa have enmeshed themselves in both local and international environmental politics. Beyond their local government, non-state actors’ agency has seen them engaging multinationals and governments in the United States, Europe and China. Although their actions have not always been successful –especially where there are clear indicators of success– or received State support in Africa, the role of non-state actors in climate action is not in doubt. Yet, while contestation on a geographical definition of non-state actors (i.e. whether there are ‘non-state actors in Africa’ or ‘Africa’s non-state actors’) may persist a few are at the centre of environmental pollution and degradation. This panel therefore invites contributions that broadly discusses non-state actors in Africa and how they have engaged environmental issues in historical and contemporary terms. Among other related issues, the panel is interested in the nature, motivations, scope, choices, evolution, challenges, and/or interventions of non-state actors that engage(d) environmental issues.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -