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3 Speaking To Global Debates Through A National And Continental Lens: South African And African Social Movements In Comparative Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the empirical cases of contemporary social movements in South Africa and Africa in relation to the debates that have emerged in the global academy. It addresses the debates on social movements in the global academy from the perspective of the African continent?s, and in particular South Africa?s, contemporary social struggles. The chapter begins by summarizing the debates in the social movement literature on the relevance of identity and material struggles, and the arenas in which they can be mobilized. This is followed by an analysis of the South African and African case studies and how they speak to the global debates. The chapter considers the relevance of these movements for democracy and a human-oriented development trajectory, with the conclusion drawing together the major threads of the analysis.

Keywords: democracy; global academy; global debates; social movements; social struggles; South Africa



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