This panel looks at disruption to local institutions and everday political culture in provincial places, not only rural villages, but also trading centres and towns.
How are local institutions and everyday political culture being 'disrupted' in rural, provincial places? Africa's rapidly expanding cities have been the setting of much of the recent research on social and political 'disruption' on the continent, scholars examining how new social forms emerge from everyday encounters. We want to look at disruptions occurring in more provincial places, not just rural villages, but also the thousands of trading centres and towns that cover Africa. To what extent are the theoretical frameworks developed in the context of the urban centre helpful for understanding changes in small towns or district capitals? How are youth and the emerging middle class shaping institutions in provincial places? How might we link changes in larger and smaller urban centres? What are the limits of urban theories derived only from Africa's largest cities and how do they shape the way we consider social and political transformations in Africa?