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Spaces and Scales of African Student Activism: Senegalese and Zimbabwean University Students at the Intersection of Campus, Nation and Globe

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African university students have long engaged in political activism, responding to changing political, social and economic circumstances through protest that has at times exerted considerable influence on the national stage. Student activism employs highly spatialised strategies yet has received minimal attention from geographers. Drawing on case studies from Senegal and Zimbabwe, we identify four phases of activism in which students have mobilised distinctive relational spatialities in responding to changes in the spatial expression of dominant political power. In so doing, we highlight the inadequacies of approaches to resistance that give excessive emphasis to a power/resistance dualism or to questions of scale.

Keywords: Africa; activism; scale; spatiality; students

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Sociological Research, University of Johannesburg, South Africa;, Email: 2: Centre for Human Geography, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK;, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2008


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