How does civic action provide possibilities in the search for new alternatives to politics and political engagement? This issue of Development, the quarterly journal of the Society for International Development (SID), assesses the potential and unpacks the myths around new modalities of mobilization including social media and Occupy and other Tahrir-style public protests on social change.
The journal focuses around the question ‘What should we make of the wave of citizen action protests that swept the globe in 2011?’ As the editorial makes clear, civic action is moving away from institutional campaigns and projects of the traditional meta movements. What are we to say at these new actions of ‘unruly politics’ and mass mobilization fueled by social media and drenched in revolutionary discourse. In an increasingly (inter)connected world, political processes and the place of the citizen within it are becoming more complex, amplifying the need for better analytical frameworks and critical reflection on civic agency – much of which is offered by the contributions to the journal.