African Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence
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Three leading Africa scholars investigate the social forces driving the democratic transformation of postcolonial states across southern Africa. Extensive research and interviews with civil society organizers in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland inform this analysis of the challenges faced by non-governmental organizations in relating both to the attendant inequality of globalization and to grassroots struggles for social justice.
Peter Dwyer is a tutor in economics at Ruskin College in Oxford.
Leo Zeilig Lecturer at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
conditions that inform beliefs, loyalties, and activism. However, these ideas do not act by themselves—independent of social context—nor are they simple reflections of this context. The case studies show us that ideas and organizations (or their absence) can have a vital influence on events. We have argued in this book that after the second wave of democratic struggles, new governments across the continent followed, more or less obediently, the advice of the IFIs. This common resumption of
Johnson, and Michael Lavalette, eds., Leadership and Social Movements (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001). 2. See Charles Tilly, “Social Movements as Historically Specific Clusters of Political Performances,” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 38 (1994), 1–30. Social movements occupied a space outside the state for most of the nineteenth century. However, in the last decades of the century, this began to change as capitalist states incorporated “movements” of contestation. Suffrage was
such privatizations (and resistance to them) were happening across the world. There is clearly a difference between a more dispersed, atomized, and less-politicized poor population than those one finds in trade unions. In addition, many civil society activists have not found effective, concrete ways to link people’s immediate needs with broader questions. These are African and global concerns—anticapitalist activists can be so abstract that their statements and arguments have little practical
meeting on the Arab Spring. Many were severely beaten and tortured. By early March most had been released, but six were held and charged with treason and detained for almost a month. These included prominent members of civil society and socialists in the ISO. After a prolonged trial on reduced charges of conspiring to overthrow the government, the six were found guilty in March 2012 and given suspended sentences and community service. They avoided lengthy prison sentences because of the
detention of SFTU leaders. That year, PUDEMO sympathizers established the Swaziland Solidarity Network in Johannesburg, which remains an active and important part of regional civil society pressure on the royal regime. What had appeared to be an unstoppable political tide was stalled, and many opponents of the royal regime found themselves in exile in South Africa. PUDEMO leaders and activists remaining in Swaziland have been continually harassed and detained by the regime. The movements of