Social Movements and Political Change in Africa: Shaping Technologies for Change

University of Limerick 09:00 :: 14th June 2012

June 14th-15th 2012

Call for paper proposals (300 words)

The Irish Social Sciences Platform is pleased to extend a call for papers for a workshop exploring ‘Social Movements and Political Change in Africa: Shaping Technologies for Change’ which will be held at the University of Limerick on June 14th-15th, 2012.

The events in North Africa in 2011 demonstrated on the world stage the potential that social movements have to exact political change. With this in mind, a workshop will be held in order to explore the manner in which social movements have contributed to political change both positively and negatively across Africa since 1989. Special emphasis will be placed on cross-national comparison in order to identify similarities and differences in the character, aims and methods of social movements in Africa; and to explore their role in shaping eventual regime outcomes. The workshop will explore social movements and political change in North and Sub Saharan Africa.

This workshop will examine the interaction between technological change and social, cultural and political life. The manner in which various groups instigate and develop these changes is of great interest due to the manner in which social innovators utilise different types of ‘technological’ developments to further their cause such as traditional technologies like word of mouth or through involvement in civil society movements. In addition, the more recent movements for social change have utilised newer technological advances to disseminate information including social media platforms like facebook and twitter. This workshop will investigate the manner in technological innovations of social organization have become embedded and how these ideas have been shaped by the various cultural settings of the countries under investigation.

The following questions will be addressed:
- What have we learnt from popular protest in North Africa that might reshape existing generalizations about social movements and political change?
- In what way have new communication technologies helped social movements in their struggle for political change in Africa?
- Are there emerging patterns in the organization and character of social movements and are linkages strengthening with them across the continent?
- What challenges exist for social movements in sustaining their support whilst working within new governments?
Conference support will be offered to ISSP affiliated academics who are interested in attending.

For further information please contact Ciara McCorley -

All Welcome

ISSP Sponsors: