Seminar: Who's throwing the stones? Preliminary findings and reflections on urban youth and protests in Kampala and Conakry


Video duration: 
45 min.

Urban youthProtests and riots in African cities feature young men as key actors. Often depicted in ambivalent terms as "Makers and Breakers" or "Vanguard or Vandals," their diversity and ambiguity obviously challenge theory building - recent contributions have thus turned to interpreting youth as discursive or “ideological” formations (see van Dijk et al. 2011). This seminar by Joschka Philipps (Center for African Studies Basel) argues instead for a more systematic empirical inquiry into youth and politics by taking a comparative perspective. It provides preliminary findings from field research in Kampala, Uganda and Conakry, Guinea to shed light on the national and intra-urban similarities and differences between youth categories and their relations to politics. The goal is to comparatively assess the significance of youth popular culture, (semi-) criminal networks, as well as the national and historical political context for the likelihood and nature of youth involvement in urban contentious politics.


Joschka PhilippsJoschka Philipps studied Political Science, Sociology, and Psychology at the University of Freiburg, Germany and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. His MA thesis on youth gangs in Conakry, Guinea was recently published unter the title 'Ambivalent Rage' by Editions l'Harmattan (2013) and received the Junior Researcher Award by the German African Studies Association.



Date, time and location

22 May 2014
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 5A23 (5th floor)