Recent dynamics of globalization have encouraged the emergence of a number of new political and economic actors. This panel focuses on the social creativity of local actors that emerge in the interface between religion, development and forms of citizen participation.
This panel examines national, regional and transnational dynamics that account for the reconfigurations of social, political and religious spheres in major African urban centers. In a context of religious competition, saturation of public spheres by religious actors and the growing protestation on the part of civil society, complex issues of social justice suggest a powerful articulation between religion, development and new types of social actors. While a globalized world has encouraged the emergence of a number of new political and economic actors, it is increasingly important to understand the impact of these on the local levels. Papers focus on the social creativity of local actors that emerge in the interface between religion, development and new forms of citizen participation. Such processes can be seen, for instance, at the level of newly feminized religious charismatic figures, emerging religious media, multiplying local and transnational religious NGOs, new global justice movements, women and religious movements in light of family codes reforms, religious and social movements in reaction to urban gentrification. The attention paid to the practice of these actors helps to understand different spaces where social actors can voice their points of view and in some cases manage to exert influence over political, economic and social processes of decision-making. Beyond political processes as such, papers included in this panel examine forms of cultural innovations and social networking that bring together local and transnational dynamics. Papers included in this panel are based on recent empirical field research.