This panel explores how contestation within the political realm begins and evolves, taking as examples popular revolts in the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa, thus contributing to an understanding of the constraints to and potentialities of political change.
The citizens' uprisings in the Arab world in 2011 have profoundly changed the region's political landscape, yet the full extent of this transformation, and the broader impact on other parts of the continent, remains to be seen. What are the contributions of the Arab Spring's mass protests to the broader study of the politics of contestation and political change? How can we understand the scope and nature of other forms of protest in sub-Saharan Africa? And how are they articulated? This panel will explore the regional patterns of contemporary popular revolts in what concerns their causes and dynamics. Analysing various forms of mobilisation and different outcomes, this panel provides a valuable insight into how contestation within the political realm begins and evolves, thus contributing to an understanding of the constraints to and potentialities of political change.