THE POLITICS OF THE NEAR, on the edges of protest in South Africa, translated by Andrew Brown

: Tournadre (J.)

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310pp., illus., paperback, New York, 2022


"The idea at the heart of this book is that it is necessary to broaden the field of study of a mobilisation when the latter arises from a poor people's movement. Why? Because, more than in other categories of movement, this is often intimately linked to the physical, social and symbolic environment around the people taking part. These individuals move in a spatially situated sociality, their demands reflect the needs that reveal the relationship to the world imposed upon them, and we can, more generally, conclude that what is affected, what justifies (at least in their view) their commitment, dwells in the most central and sometimes most vital and intimate aspects of their lives. It is in this respect that their commitment is deployed in a 'regime of the near'." page 19

"Tournadre’s compelling development of a ‘politics of the near’ contributes significantly to debates in political sociology, anthropology, and political science. The book’s close attention to activists’ quotidian lives and their embeddedness in dense social networks offers a compelling argument that politics is located not only in institutions and organizations but also in the everyday worlds that shape people’s dispositions, actions, and histories." Fiona C. Ross, University of Cape Town

Jérôme Tournadre is a research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research. He is the author of A Turbulent South Africa: Post-Apartheid social protest.