Mobilising insurgent citizenship: Forging local authority and everyday policing in Protea Court

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5 Citations (Scopus)


It has been argued that, in light of some of the weaknesses of post-apartheid democracy, social movements have the potential to provide a more meaningful practice of citizenship and democracy for those living on the socio-economic margins of society. However, analysts have often not interrogated how these practices unfold in the day-to-day rhythms of collective action. This article uses the concept of 'insurgent citizenship' as a lens through which to analyse the mobilisation practices of one community-based organisation affiliated to the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF). Through examining how concerns over safety and security resulted in practices of everyday policing, more commonly termed vigilante justice, within the Protea Court Residents Committee (PCRC), the article demonstrates how insurgent mobilisation practices can become entangled with anti-democratic and patriarchal forces. In teasing out some of the contradictions of insurgent citizenship, this article offers a critical analysis, seeking neither to celebrate nor condemn the practices it examines. Rather, I argue that if we are to take the progressive potential of insurgent citizenship practices seriously then we must be alive to its contradictions and limitations as it is enacted within everyday mobilisation practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalSouth African Review of Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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