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Demanding power : do protests empower citizens to hold governments accountable over energy?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-05, 13:22 authored by Naomi Hossain, John Agbonifo, Martin Atela, John Gaventa, Euclides Gonçalves, Umair Javed, Neil McCulloch, Davide Natalini, Marjoke Oosterom, Ayobami Ojebode, Alex Shankland

Energy protests are becoming increasingly common and significant around the world. While in the global North concerns tend to centre around climate issues, in the global South the concerns are more often with affordable energy. Both types of protests, however, have one issue in common: the undemocratic nature of energy policymaking. This paper draws together findings from research conducted in three countries, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Pakistan to ask how and under which conditions do struggles over energy access in fragile and conflict affected settings empower the powerless to hold public authorities to account? In exploring this theme, the study examines what factors support protests developing into significant episodes of contention within fragile settings, and whether these energy struggles promote citizen empowerment and institutional accountability.



Institute of Development Studies


Institute of Development Studies, Working Paper, Volume 2021, Number 555.


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