Protests in Africa and their outcomes
Julian Friesinger, University of Bremen
Lisa Mueller, Macalester College, Saint Paul
Protests in Africa have starkly increased over the past decade. Widespread protests challenge governments and their policies. This panel asks: What have protest movements achieved so far? What are the compositions of current movements? What lessons can be drawn from movements in the South for social movement theory?
Protests in Africa have starkly increased over the past decade. The apex of protest movements is closely connected to the limited development efforts of African governments. Widespread protests challenge current governments on issues such as governance issues, income and wealth distribution, and educational topics. Cross-class
coalitions between the middle- and lower classes seem to drive these demonstrations.
While the causes for the recent protest peak have been explored, only scant attention has
hitherto been given to the study of the outcomes these protests produced. Additionally, the
question of the internal composition of protest movements deserves further attention.
This panel asks:
• what are the actual outcomes of current protests?
• How and where do protest coalitions push for change? Do their demands translate into
concrete reforms, or have governments been successful in averting fundamental policy
• What are the contextual conditions that influence outcomes of protests?
• What lessons can be drawn from movements in the South for social movement theory?
We welcome comparative analyses as well as in-depth case studies. Moreover, we invite
contributions looking at the micro- and meso-level, studying the processes of coalition