What Politics? Youth and Political Engagement in Africa examines the diverse experiences of being young in today’s Africa. It offers new perspectives to the roles and positions young people take to change their life conditions both within and beyond the formal political structures and institutions. The contributors represent several social science disciplines, and provide well-grounded qualitative analyses of young people’s everyday engagements by critically examining dominant discourses of youth, politics and ideology. Despite focusing on Africa, the book is a collective effort to better understand what it is like to be young today, and what the making of tomorrow’s yesterday means for them in personal and political terms.
Contributors are: Ehaab Abdou, Abebaw Yirga Adamu, Henni Alava, Päivi Armila, Randi Rønning Balsvik, Jesper Bjarnesen, Þóra Björnsdóttir, Jónína Einarsdóttir, Tilo Grätz, Nanna Jordt Jørgensen, Marko Kananen, Sofia Laine, Naydene de Lange, Afifa Ltifi, Ivo Mhike, Claudia Mitchell, Relebohile Moletsane, Danai S. Mupotsa, Elina Oinas, Henri Onodera, Eija Ranta, Mounir Saidani, Mariko Sato, Loubna H. Skalli, Tiina Sotkasiira, Abdoulaye Sounaye, Leena Suurpää, and Mulumebet Zenebe.
Elina Oinas, Ph.D. (2001), Åbo Akademi University, Finland, is Professor in Sociology at the Swedish School of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research deals with health, activism and feminisms in Africa.
Henri Onodera is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political and Economic Studies in the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has conducted research on youth activism and prolonged adolescence in Egypt, and everyday lives of young Muslims in Finland.
Leena Suurpää is a youth researcher, adjunct professor and civic activist, working for the Finnish Red Cross. Suurpää has an academic career in the Finnish Youth Research Network, studying issues ranging from youth cultures to youth work and youth policy.
Table of contents
Preface and Acknowledgements List of Figures Notes on Contributors List of Abbreviations
Evasive Youth, Oblique Politics Elina Oinas, Henri Onodera and Leena Suurpää
Part 1: Envisioning
A Question of Power Danai S. Mupotsa 3
Friendship and Youth Activism in Pre-revolutionary Egypt Henri Onodera 4
Respectful Resistance: Young Musicians and the Unfinished Revolution in Tunisia Sofia Laine, Leena Suurpää and Afifa Ltifi 5
Egyptian Youth-led Civil Society Organizations: Alternative Spaces for Civic Engagement? Ehaab D. Abdou and Loubna H. Skalli 6
Taking the Forbidden Space: Graffiti and Resistance in Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia Mulumebet Zenebe 7
Post-Revolutionary Tunisian Youth Art: The Effect of Contestation on the Democratization of Art Production and Consumption Mounir Saidani
Part 2: Entitlement
The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Urban Burkina Faso Jesper Bjarnesen 9
Hustling for Rights: Political Engagements with Sand in Northern Kenya Nanna Jordt Jørgensen 10
“Acholi Youth Are Lost”: Young, Christian and (A)political in Uganda Henni Alava 11
Struggling for New Communicative Spaces: Young Media Producers and Politics in the Republic of Benin Tilo Grätz 12
Transnational Engagement: Return Migrant Women in Somaliland Mariko Sato
Part 3: Embeddedness
Salafi Youth on Campus in Niamey, Niger: Moral Motives, Political Ends Abdoulaye Sounaye 14
Patronage and Ethnicity amongst Politically Active Young Kenyans Eija Ranta 15
Political Violence in Zimbabwe’s National Youth Service, 2001–2007 Ivo Mhike 16
Students’ Participation in and Contribution to Political and Social Change in Ethiopia Abebaw Yirga Adamu and Randi Rønning Balsvik 17
Child Participation in Ghana: Responsibilities and Rights Þóra Björnsdóttir and Jónína Einarsdóttir 18
Diaspora as a Multilevel Political Space for Young Somalis Päivi Armila, Marko Kananen and Tiina Sotkasiira 19
Addressing Sexual Violence in South Africa: ‘Gender activism in the making’ Claudia Mitchell, Naydene de Lange and Relebohile Moletsane