Working Paper

IDS Working Paper 555

Demanding Power: Do Protests Empower Citizens to Hold Governments Accountable over Energy?

Published on 1 September 2021

Energy protests are becoming increasingly common and significant around the world. While in the global North concerns tend to centre around climate issues, in the global South the concerns are more often with affordable energy. Both types of protests, however, have one issue in common: the undemocratic nature of energy policymaking.

This paper draws together findings from research conducted in three countries, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Pakistan to ask how and under which conditions do struggles over energy access in fragile and conflict affected settings empower the powerless to hold public authorities to account? In exploring this theme, the study examines what factors support protests developing into significant episodes of contention within fragile settings, and whether these energy struggles promote citizen empowerment and institutional accountability.

Cite this publication

Hossain, N. et al. (2021) Demanding Power: Do Protests Empower Citizens to Hold Governments Accountable over Energy?, IDS Working Paper 555, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/IDS.2021.056


Naomi Hossain

American University

John Gaventa

Research Fellow and Director, Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme

Neil McCulloch

Honorary Associate

Marjoke Oosterom

Power and Popular Politics Cluster Lead

Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies


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