Panel on »African movements in globalisation and transnationalisation«, VAD Congress 2014 »Future Africa«, 11-14 June 2014 in Bayreuth

Social and political movements –labour unions or peasant movements, protests for democratic change and justice or religious and ethno-nationalist movements, and plenty of others – are central actors who create and design the future in Africa. Their activities are substantially affected by current globalisation processes. Analysing this impact, the idea of a ‘global civil society’ falls short as also in transnational networks struggles over the prerogative of interpretation take place. African social movements claim self-representation in global processes such as the world social forums or international negotiations (e.g. in environmental politics). They mobilise on the local and national level against the effects of current global crisis (financial crisis, food crisis, energy crisis, etc.). They build networks not only between North and South but also between actors in different states and regions within the Global South, increasingly overcoming continental and language barriers.

Against this background, the panel focuses on questions such as: How do processes of globalisation and transnationalisation impact on social and political movements in Africa? How are these movements and organisations involved in global forums (international and transnational networks, world social forums, and others)? What role do they play in transnational activist networks? How do external partners impact on these movements and organisations (e.g. regarding the influence of external funding)? How are ‘global’ norms mediated locally through social and political movements in Africa (such as human rights, gender norms, and others)?

Please send your abstracts by 17 November to Melanie Müller (melanie_mueller(at) and Bettina Engels (bettina.engels(at)