Activism from abroad: the transnationalization of Burundian human rights organizations after their suspension in 2015
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This thesis analyzes the collective action strategies that have allowed Burundian diaspora human rights activists operating in Rwanda, Uganda and Belgium to rebuild and cross transnational lines in their respective organisations in exile after they were forced to leave the country in the aftermath of the April protest from 2015. So far, academics have mostly researched social movements and contentious collective action of movements operating from within their respective countries through the lens of social movement theory. This thesis however uses the analytical concepts of political opportunities, mobilizing structures and framing within social movement theory. As the framework of social movement theory seeks to explain how social movements mobilize and operate within a country, it is not fully suited to analyze the particularities of mobilization processes of human rights organisations in exile. For the purpose of accounting of the newly transnational context in which these organisations operate, this thesis drew on the literature on transnational networks. It argues that these organisations have to transnationalise in order to rebuild themselves and continue pressuring the government of their home country from outside.