What Politics?

Youth and Political Engagement in Africa


Volume Editors: , , and
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.

What Politics? Youth and Political Engagement in Africa is now available in paperback for individual customers.
Open Access
Download PDF

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
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.
Preface and Acknowledgements
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors
List of Abbreviations

1 Evasive Youth, Oblique Politics
Elina Oinas, Henri Onodera and Leena Suurpää

Part 1: Envisioning

2 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

8 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

13 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

All interested in contemporary Africa, youth and uprisings, or political activity in general.
  • Collapse
  • Expand