Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Marcus Filippello

Committee Members

Christine Evans, Carolyn Eichner


Agriculture, Burkina Faso, Environmentalism, NGOs, Revolution, Sankara


This paper will explore the Burkinabé revolution and the governmental structure which formed out if it, as an ideological entity with some governing capabilities but not simply a political body as it did not possess the capacities at any time to fully govern the country in terms of the implementation of intended social and economic programs. However, these programs were extremely widespread encompassed swaths of rural society in ways that it had not since the Mossi Empire became centralized and rose to regional prominence in the 18th century. The ideological identity of the revolution in Burkina Faso was not a complete reflection of the man who became president of the CNR, Captain Thomas Sankara. It would be dishonest to make such an assertion because popular mass mobilizations do not occur because of the efforts of a single person, or even a clique. Such outpourings as were seen in Burkina Faso in the 1980s were contributed to by a combination of various elements that reverberated through space and time, and linked Burkina Faso and all its people, intimately to the web of anti-colonial, anti-imperial movements taking place in this era. However, the development of such popular mobility was based on the specific historical circumstances of spatially derived geographies, which must be strategically analyzed in order to be understood. This paper is premised on deriving an understanding of the revolution in Burkina Faso itself as well as how contemporary literature has sought to derive the same types of understandings previously.