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The power of mobilization

Political Protest in Contemporary Africa
Political resistance in Africa is led by middle-class individuals, while the poor are gathering in the streets.


Lisa Mueller, a young State scientist with a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), now employed at the venerable Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, has written a new reference work on political protests in Africa. Based on fieldwork in a number of countries – Niger, Guinea and Malawi, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali – Mueller describes and analyzes the continent's political resistance movements over the past decade with great credibility. Contrary to what Adam Branch and Zachariah Mampilly do in the book Africa Uprising. Popular Protest and Political Change (2015) Mueller follows one clear thought throughout his book: It is the African middle class that organizes the protests, while it is the poor who fill the streets.

But are there the middle class?

For Mueller's book to appeal, one would think that one, like her, must believe that the African middle class actually exists, and that the concept of class has something to do with it as well. . .

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Ketil Fred Hansen
Hansen is a professor of social sciences at UiS and a regular reviewer at Ny Tid.

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