de Heredia, M.I.
Reversing “Liberal” Aspirations: A View from “Citizen’s” Movements in Africa
(2022) Global Society
Since Tahir Square, a series of movements and uprisings have spread around Africa. Redefining themselves as “citizens” movements to emphasise their “rights”, one of the most significant characteristics is their tendency to couch their aspirations in terms that resonate the liberal moral order. Yet in so doing they also create a new subjectivity and redefine democracy, development and human rights. With the cases of Y’en a Marre in Senegal, and LUCHA in DRC, the article analyses this rearticulation, not as reproducing the dominant discourse, but as a reversed discourse that critiques and a challenges the status quo. Following Foucault’s approach, the paper embraces the circular, contradictory and tactical nature of discourses, but expands it with African political theory and resistance theory to articulate resistance as acts that attack and subvert power at the same time that creates new subjectivities. © 2022 University of Kent.
African citizens movements; coloniality; resistance theory