African Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence by Peter Dwyer, Leo Zeilig

By Peter Dwyer, Leo Zeilig

This groundbreaking research examines the earnings, contradictions, and frustrations of twenty-first century prodemocracy struggles throughout Southern Africa.

Three major Africa students examine the social forces using the democratic transformation of postcolonial states throughout southern Africa. wide examine and interviews with civil society organizers in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland tell this research of the demanding situations confronted by way of non-governmental companies in concerning either to the attendant inequality of globalization and to grassroots struggles for social justice.

About the Authors:
Peter Dwyer is a coach in economics at Ruskin university in Oxford.
Leo Zeilig Lecturer on the Institute of Commonwealth reviews, college of London.

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Class and social movements in Africa Given our analysis, it is necessary to explore the particular meaning of class relations and their interaction with social movements in Africa. The emphasis of this study is on the diversity of social movement activism and organization on the continent. There is perhaps a tension between this and the authors’ assertion that the African urban working class has been central to the historical development of social movement activity on the continent. The question immediately arises as to how this class relates to labor organizations such as trade unions, particularly given the decline in formal-sector employment in many countries in the last two decades.

7_all pages 6/12/12 2:08 PM Page 27 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE WORKING CLASS IN AFRICA 27 involvement in their activities and organizations; the openness of their internal debates; and the permanent contest for hegemony between different forces. Social movements have the potential in such circumstances to construct, from their struggles, new institutions and democratic practices that can become the basis for alternative forms of power. Their capacity to do this, however, depends on the extent to which popular and working-class forces are able to challenge elites, who will generally seek a more limited level of social transformation.

Recent studies arising from or influenced by the anticapitalist movement have sought to replace the Marxist idea of working-class agency with alternative formations based on broader or less defined movements or coalitions for progressive or radical change. ”51 The reason for distinguishing between these two categories is that the distinct work situation of the proletariat (strictly, its relation to the means of production) tends to put it in a position to provide leadership to other allied social strata.

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