Protest in South Africa

Rejection, reassertion, reclamation

Published February 2023

MISTRA’s edited research volume, Protest in South Africa: Rejection, reassertion, reclamation explores the underpinnings of protest in contemporary South Africa and both its short-term causes and structural drivers. Contributors to the volume provide an overview of the complexity of protest action, the diversity of protest spaces and actors, and the responses to protest from both citizens and state.

Contributors to the volume examine protests in relation to, among other factors, provision of infrastructure and services, contestations around socio-economic development, issues of citizenship, and demands for inclusive democratic governance. Chapters also examine the role of women in protest action, the policing of protest, and the intersection of protest action with spaces of formal politics. The volume also alerts us to the darker side of protest, and the destruction and division it may foment. It thus considers the prospects of South Africa’s evolving, sometimes violent, protest terrain for social and state stability and democratic progress.

Read the policy brief

Read a short summary including key findings of the book in the Policy brief.

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