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The politics of the poor in the context of global civil society

The aim of this project is to understand the political practices of the organized poor in South African civil society. The focus is on the Poor People’s Alliance (PPA), an umbrella organization which has emerged from the protests of shack dwellers, Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), in Durban since 2005. The main tenets of the PPA can be described as (i) radical self-representation based on the lived experience of the poor and (ii) resistance to appropriation or ‘gentrification’ by NGOs and intellectuals. Their approach, which has been labeled as “politics of the poor” (Pithouse 2008), is raising increasing interest among scholars, journalists, and activists both within South Africa and in the Global North. The project explores the relevance of these linkages for the movements of the poor in South Africa.

Project leader: Christoph Haug

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 4/18/2016
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