Dynamics of contention: between state, society and the international
Bettina Engels (Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin)
Alex Veit (University of Bremen)
Start time:
29 June, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to discuss the dynamics of political contention in Africa, connecting collective societal actors with inter- or transnational actors and discourses. Paper propositions are welcome that focus on specific cases of African contentious politics as well as on theoretical questions.

Long abstract:

Political spaces in Africa are strongly influenced by international organizations, transnational NGOs and corporations, as well as global norms and discourses. African collective societal actors, such as social movements, local NGOs or armed groups, thus almost necessarily have to deal with inter- or transnational organizations, be it as allies, partners, patrons, contenders, rule-makers, or targets of their action. African collective societal actors very often also refer to or oppose global discourses. Contentious politics, the convergence of collective action, contention, and (state) politics, in Africa therefore regularly shows strong transnational dimensions. This panel is interested in the dynamics of political contention connecting African collective societal actors with inter- or transnational actors and discourses. We seek to discuss the specific difficulties, but also the strategies and the cunning of local, national, and transnational collective societal actors in Africa in dealing with and employing transnational forces and discourses. Of equal importance are the responses of both national as well as inter- / transnational actors to challenges provided by African collective societal actors. We invite both empirical as well as theoretical contributions. In this way, we hope to get a better understanding of internationalized political authority, resistance and conflict in Africa.