Special Report: Continuity and Discontinuity in Activism
Ruptures, Continuity, and Being True to OneselfBy Éric Cheynis
This article deals with Moroccan former left-wing political activists who are now engaged in associations. The first part looks at activists’ shifting trajectories from one field to the other, analyzing their moves in relation to the transformation of politics in the country. By doing so, it sheds some light on a new form of engagement. For the actors studied in this piece, associations are seen as a space where they both update their political dispositions and recycle their professional skills as well as their international connections. The second part adopts a analysis of the reasons for action put forward by individuals, beyond analyses in terms of renunciation and betrayal. It underlines how former activists’ see their investment into associations as the continuation of their political past, which justifies in their views their current associations engagement. The analysis of autobiographical stories though highlights the incremental nature of former activists’ repositioning experience. It is finally argued that these conversions into associations should above all be thought first and foremost as a collective experience and a collective process.