Technologies of politics in Africa
Africa’s ‘digital revolution’ continues to provoke new thinking on how power is mobilised, organised and exercised across the continent. Social movements, street protests, democratic elections and state authority are being enabled and constrained in different ways as communication technologies, new and old, are innovated, imported, adapted and controlled. How are new communication technologies altering who has political power over whom in the region? What role are technologies playing in contemporary and evolving relations between social movements and states? What new global configurations of power in the region are emerging as a result of who controls the infrastructures of a digitally mediated world? What is the politics of these new technologies in their role in the exercise and contestation of political authority?
This research stream welcomes papers on these and other questions, with a particular interest in scholarship that combines elements of being empirically grounded, multi-disciplinary and attentive to local ideas and thought. This stream will offer the opportunity to connect researchers from and working on different parts of eastern Africa (broadly conceived) and beyond, and to discuss momentous contemporary political and social developments. Sponsored by the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA), the convenors envisage that relevant contributions to the stream be developed into a special collection for submission to the BIEA’s Journal of Eastern African Studies.