Accepted paper:

Contesting hegemonic regimes and the making of a circular opposition space in elections time. The case of the 2015 elections in Tanzania and Zanzibar

Authors:

Mailys Chauvin (LAM-CNRS IEP Bordeaux France)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on the space of hegemonic regimes contest, opposition and citizenship dynamics in an electoral context beyond its alleged urbanity and through the example of the 2015 elections inTanzania and Zanzibar

Paper long abstract:

This paper questions and discusses the space of hegemonic regimes contest, opposition deployment and electoral citizenship beyond an alleged urbanity that restricts cities as the sole space of political alternance. The case of the 2015 elections in Tanzania and Zanzibar that unprecedently challenged the party-state hegemony and micro territorial control, provides with an interesting field of understanding by showing that some rural areas not only in Zanzibar but also in the mainland, were very much engaged, linked and connected to opposition parties dynamics. Based on a study of the electoral practices, representations and places of urban opposition actors (residents, candidates, etc.) in Zanzibar and Arusha, this paper provides an understanding on how villages and cities formed an uninterrupted space of action and exchanges during the steps of the electoral process such as voter registration, primaries elections, campaign, voting, electoral crisis, and within public places like barazas, meetings stadiums, parti office, etc.. Beside, it shows that the mobility of individuals and their connectivity through the use of smartphones and social medias like Whatsapp, is contributes to the ubiquist electoral territoriality. Further, it reveals that the space of opposition and electoral citizenship is better apprehended as a circulation space that links and connects not only villages, towns and capitals, but also the urban diaspora. Lastly, it informs on the hegemonic regimes contest in an electoral context, as a common and shared space-time articulated between localities and transnationality more or less urbanised.

panel P193
Boundaries, Links, and Flows: the Materiality and Political Meaning of Distinctions between Urban, Suburban, and Rural Africa