Research

Resistance on the Fly: South Africa’s July 2021

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year
2021-2022

Widespread civil unrest engulfed the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, South Africa, in July 2021. Hundreds of people died and billions of dollars in damages were incurred in the worst case of violence since the end of the Apartheid regime. During the unrest the state failed to maintain a monopoly on force and violence, and civil society found themselves in the midst of a disruptive event that threatened livelihoods and lives in certain instances. This project seeks to explore the following questions: how do non-state actors spontaneously coordinate, and navigate confrontation, during disruptive events in which the state fails to maintain a monopoly on force? And how do these spontaneous actions reinforce or break-apart existing identities?