In October 2014, huge protests across Burkina Faso
succeeded in overthrowing the long-entrenched regime of their authoritarian
ruler, Blaise Compaore. Defying all expectations, this popular movement went on
to defeat an attempted coup by the old regime, making it possible for a
transitional government to organize free and fair elections the following year.
In doing so, the people of this previously obscure West African nation surprised
the world, and their struggle stands as one of the few instances of a popular
democratic uprising succeeding in postcolonial sub-Saharan Africa.
For over three decades, Ernest Harsch has researched and reported from Burkina Faso, interviewing subjects ranging from local democratic activists to revolutionary icon Thomas Sankara, the man once dubbed `Africa's Che Guevara.' In this book, Harsch provides a compelling history of this little understood country, from the French colonial period to the Compaore regime and the movement that finally deposed him.
Ernest Harsch is an academic and freelance journalist who has written extensively on Africa since the 1970s. He is a research scholar affiliated with Columbia University's Institute of African Studies and previously served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the university's School of International and Public Affairs. He is a regular contributor on Burkina Faso to the Economist Intelligence Unit, and his writing has featured in publications ranging from Le Monde diplomatique to Africa Today. His previous books include Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary (2014).
1. Insurgent Citizens and the State 2. Uneasy Colonial Roots 3. Ministries of Plunder 4. From Crisis to Revolution 5. Refashioning the State 6. On Fragile Ground 7. Mobilization from Above and Below 8. Coup and `Rectification' 9. `Democracy' with a Heavy Hand 10. Enrichment in a Land of Poverty 11. Tug of War within the State 12. Contention in the Streets 13. From Confrontation to Insurrection 14. A Troubled Transition 15. A New Burkina Faso?