CfP: Studying socioeconomic protest and political change in the Global South: Potential and limitations of the contentious politics approach, Panel at the conference “World Regions Compared: Polity, Politics and Policy“, GIGA, Hamburg, 25- 27 February 2015, Panel chairs: Irene Weipert-Fenner, University of Marburg/Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), and Jonas Wolff, PRIF

Socioeconomic grievances were among the major forces driving the recent series of political upheavals in the MENA region. In Egypt and Tunisia, socioeconomic protests continue to put pressure on the evolving political regimes. The failure of autocracies to deliver on socioeconomic demands was also an important factor during the so-called “third wave of democratization”. Still, at least in Latin America, the democratic regimes that resulted from this wave have continued to face socioeconomic protests – leading, in recent years, to a renewed regional wave of political change (“leftist turn”).

In this panel, we want to bring together papers that deal with the interplay of socioeconomic protests and political regimes with a view to understanding their consequences for processes of political change. Contributions may be based on research on individual world regions or on inter-regional comparisons, may focus on specific protest actors (such as labor unions or unemployed movements) or on specific socioeconomic issues.

Theoretically, the panel invites papers to reflect on the contentious political approach developed by Tilly, Tarrow and colleagues. The aim is to explore its potential and limits for the study of regions of the so-called Global South and for inter-regional comparison.

Paper proposals (max. 500 words) should be sent directly to the panel chairs (irene.weipertfenner[at] and wolff[at], and no later than November 15, 2014.

The context of this panel is a new research project funded by the VolkswagenStiftung and directed by the two panel chairs that deals with “Socioeconomic protests and political transformation. Dynamics of contentious politics in Egypt and Tunisia against the background of South American experiences” (see Papers, however, may also deal with regions other than those studied in this project (Arab world, Latin America).