Movers and Shakers

Social Movements in Africa


Mobilization against apartheid, the campaign against blood diamonds, the women's movement in Liberia where Africa's first female head of state was elected in 2005: these are all examples of socially based movements that have had a major effect on Africa's recent history. Yet the most influential theories concerning social movements worldwide have paid little heed to Africa, basing themselves more often on cases drawn from other continents. This volume draws together contributions from some leading writers on social movements in Africa, setting empirical studies alongside a couple of theoretical chapters. Africa’s social movements have distinctive features that are related to the continent’s specific history.

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Stephen Ellis is a senior researcher at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, and Desmond Tutu professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University, Amsterdam. He has published on a wide variety of African countries including Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria and South Africa. His most recent book, coauthored with Solofo Randrianja, is 'Madagascar: A Short History' (C. Hurst & Co., London).
Ineke van Kessel,is a senior researcher with the African Studies Centre, Leiden. She has published extensively on anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa, notably Beyond our Wildest Dreams': the United Democratic Front and the Transformation of South Africa (University of Virginia Press), as well as on socio-political developments in post-apartheid South Africa.
1 Introduction: African social movements or social movements in Africa? Stephen Ellis & Ineke van Kessel
2 Social movement theory: Past, presence & prospects Jacquelien van Stekelenburg & Bert Klandermans
3 Speaking to global debates through a national and continental lens: South African and African social movements in comparative perspective Adam Habib & Paul Opoku-Mensah
4 African civil society, ‘Blood Diamonds’ and the Kimberley Process Lansana Gberie
5 The Islamic Courts Union: The ebb and flow of a Somali Islamist movement Jon Abbink
6 Liberia’s women acting for peace: Collective action in a war-affected country Veronika Fuest
7 Nurtured from the pulpit: The emergence and growth of Malawi’s democracy movement Boniface Dulani
8 Bare-foot activists: Transformations in the Haratine movement in Mauritania Zekeria Ould Ahmed Salem
9 An Islamic social movement in contemporary West Africa: NASFAT of Nigeria Benjamin Soares
10 The United Democratic Front’s legacy in South Africa: Mission accomplished or vision betrayed? Ineke van Kessel
11 ‘Campus Cults’ in Nigeria: The development of an anti-social movement Stephen Ellis
List of authors
All those interested in social movement theory, social activism in Africa, contemporary socio-political and religious movements in Africa, Islam in Africa, global linkages with diasporic communities.
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