Open Access Freier Zugang (Open Access)  Eingeschränkter Zugriff Zugang für Abonnent*innen oder durch Zahlung einer Gebühr

„Wenn Du den Esel nicht schlägst…“. Hungeraufstände und gewerkschaftlicher Protest gegen hohe Lebenshaltungskosten in Burkina Faso

Bettina Engels

Volltext: PDF


Schlagwörter: Hungeraufstände, soziale Bewegungen, politischer Protest, kollektives Handeln, Burkina Faso, Afrika


Hunger riots: High food prices, spontaneous riots and organized


The global food price crisis that began in late 2007 has seen large  numbers of people come out into the streets in protest, especially in the cities of the global South. These spontaneous „food riots“ are marches and strikes against price increases of 50 per cent or more for cereals, cooking oil and other staple goods. This article analyses the case of „food riots“ and struggles against the high cost of living in Burkina Faso. It focuses on riots as a specific form of contentious collective action, arguing that different social actors draw on different protest repertoires. Unorganised youth, which are barely represented in labour unions and other influential civil society organisations, are the protagonists of the „food riots“. It is argued, however, that riots and institutionalised protests are mutually related. Trade union and social movement mobilisation preceded the „food riots“ and the riots were used as a discursive point of reference by protest organisations in their efforts for continuous mobilisation against the high cost of living and in their dealings with state authorities.

Keywords: food riots, social movements, political protest, collective action, Burkina Faso, Africa