“Digital Socialization” and the “New Political Culture of Resistance” in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Youth Politics.

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 6D P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Tumwerinde Emmanuel ATURINDE, Ministry of Defence, Uganda, Uganda
In the era of digitalized communication, the internet has proven to be a vital platform through which citizens have mobilized, participated in politics of their countries, expressed discontent or resisted undemocratic policies of government and poor public service delivery. In 2011, Africa experienced the first ever digitalized and internet driven political revolts in North Africa in what is termed as the, “Arab Spring”. The reality is that Sub-Saharan Africa was affected by this wave of resistance though with less magnitude. The effect depended on the distribution of the internet, digitalized equipments and the level of consciousness of the participating population mainly the youth. Politically, digitalization has generated, preserved and transmitted new political knowledge thereby producing digitalized political culture which is dominant among the youth.

The diffusion of the new political culture is global, ‘faster’, ‘cheaper’ and ‘deeper’. In effect, digitalization has produced a new avenue for recruitment, socialization, and mobilization for social action including resistance as an expression of social and political discontent. However, unlike traditional forms of resistance that are built on formal social organization, movements, popular revolutions, and demonstrations which are often suppressed by the coercive force of the state, the emergency of info-communication networks have transformed political activities into covert off-street agitations, thereby shaping a new digitalized political culture of resistance. In a nutshell, this paper answers three important questions; How has digitalization socialized the youth into a new political culture and forms of social resistance? In what aspects have new forms of social resistance impacted on youth politics in Sub-Saharan Africa in particular Uganda? And, how effective is digitalized political culture of resistance and the associated forms of counter resistance.