Call for papers – The 2016 African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK) biennial conference will be held at the University of Cambridge (Robinson College) and will run from 14.00 on Wednesday 7 September 2016 to 15.30 on Friday 9 September 2016. It will coincide with the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Cambridge Centre for African Studies. The call for papers will close on April 02, 2016.
African Student Movements and (Non) Violence
Convenor: Tatiana Smirnova, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris, France Discussant: Cindy Morillas, Sciences Po Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
Political authorities often tried to repress social movements that threaten its status quo. It has already been shown how violent student strikes in the end of the 1980s in Africa participated in the struggles for the democracy and brought political pluralism. The use of physical violence did not disappear from both sides, what is being confirmed by the violent repression of the “Arab Spring” where youth played an important role as well as by numerous urban “riots” in 2005-2008. Taking a distance from stereotypical vision of violence only as a way of repression or exclusively as means of resistance, this panel proposes to discuss an hypothesis of violence as a complex process of mutual construction. In fact, forms of violence can also be used internally towards student activists as a way of socialization and control of activists (for instance, by punishing physically for disobedience or by preventing students to go to classes during student strikes). In some countries these practices have taken place during the “authoritarian” rule and played a decisive role during the struggles for “democratization”.
These forms of violence progressively contribute to an authoritarian style of management inside student organizations, which is simultaneously contested by student movements as a principle. With time, this phenomenon leads the progressive delegitimation of student movements, but it also contributes to reinforce authoritarian and repressive procedures of the authorities who tend to promote in some countries former student leaders to the highest responsibilities in the bureaucratic apparatus as a means of control of student movements. On the other hand, some other student organizations tend to use the non-violent strategy. For example, they do not burn tires, do not break windows, do not vandalize state or private property, but use pacific demonstration and tough negotiations with authorities. Interestingly, these movements do not also promote violence inside them. In this case, regimes tend to answer quite smoothly to student strikes in order to not being nationally and internationally reproved.
Thus, this panel proposes to examine issues of violence and non-violence as two different strategies of resistance of the dominant political order while trying to understand to what extend they contribute or not to its reproduction.
A PDF file of accepted panels (symposia) is available below for those searching for the appropriate setting for their papers. Download panels here.
It is possible to submit papers via the following link to the conference services website: ASAUK conference services website
The ASAUK do not require you to submit a full paper in advance, please submit an abstract of 250 words. The call for papers will close on 2nd April 2016.
Photo credit: © Meraj Chhaya, Johannesburg, August 2014