Student political action has been a major and recurring feature of politics across the globe through the past century. Students have been involved in a full range of public issues, from anti-colonial movements, anti-war campaigns, civil rights and pro-democracy movements to campaigns against neoliberal policies, austerity, racism, misogyny and calls for climate change action. Yet student actions are frequently dismissed by political elites and others as ‘adolescent mischief’ or manipulation of young people by duplicitous adults. This occurs even as many working in governments, traditional media and educational organisations attempt to suppress student movements. Much of mainstream scholarly work has also deemed student politics as undeserving of intellectual attention. These three edited volumes of books help set the record straight.
Written by scholars and activists from around the world, When Students Protest: Universities in the Global South is the second in a three-volume study that explores university student politics in the global south. The authors document and analyse how generations of university and college students in the Global South responded to issues such as problems in their own universities as well as standing up against violent military dictatorships, human rights abuses, oppressive poverty, foreign interference and the effects of neoliberal austerity regimes. Contributors to this this volume also reveal repeated moves by states and institutions to stigmatise and suppress student political action while highlighting how those students developed new kinds of political action further demonstrating why this rich and complex global phenomena is worthy of more attention.