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Bettina Engels

The latest regime change in Burkina Faso is analysed in the context of the political history of the country since the 1960s and of the recent struggles over democracy, socioeconomic inequality and state power in many African countries. The political history of Burkina Faso since decolonisation was characterised by a series of strikes, military coups and changes in the leadership of the state until Blaise Compaoré took presidency in 1987. Pressure from civil society on Compaoré had been growing steadily since the early 1990s to reach its preliminary peak in the protests of 2013–2014, which, together with turmoil within in the military and internal power struggles of the ruling party, led to his forced resignation. The chapter outlines the factors that triggered the fall of Compoaré, namely the role of the military and the reactions of civil society groups, and discusses the lessons learned from the case study.