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Debate | LUCIS Discussion Panel

[CANCELLED] Protests, Neoliberalism, and Authoritarianism: Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Morocco

Wednesday 18 March 2020
Entrance is free. Coffee & tea from 19.15 hrs and free drinks following the discussion.
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
A1.44 (Lorentzzaal)

This event is cancelled until further notice.

This panel, with Nadine Abdalla, Marina Calculli, Peyman Jafari, and Lorenzo Feltrin, will provide an update and analysis of the protests and political developments in Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Morocco, and examines the relationship between these protests, neoliberal reforms, and authoritarian politics from a regional and global perspective.

The recent protests in the Middle East and North Africa evoke the images of the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions. The outcomes of these revolutions have differed widely. In Tunisia, the uprising resulted in democratization. In other countries, the political and social changes were reversed by counter-revolutions (Egypt), sometimes in combination with wars and foreign interventions (Syria, Bahrain, and Libya). In Morocco and Algeria, reforms were initiated by the authorities to prevent revolutions, though they were only partially implemented or later retracted.

More recently, there were mass protests in countries that were largely bypassed by the revolutionary wave of 2011: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. Although the causes of past and recent protests vary, there are two that stand out: economic restructuring, often referred to as neoliberalism, and authoritarian politics.

The panellists will address, among others, the following questions: What are the demands, dynamics, and characteristics of these protests? What is their likely course of development? How are they affected by regional and international conflicts?

Everyone is invited to join the discussion! Coffee and tea from 19.15 hrs and free drinks following the discussion.

Register here

Nadine Abdalla is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and a columnist at the Egyptian Daily Newspaper Al- Masry Al-Youm. Her research focusses on social movements and democratization, the dynamics of contentions, success and failures of social actors in challenging state-society authoritarian relations.



Marina Calculli is a scholar of International Relations and Critical Security Studies, focusing on the Middle East. Her research concentrates on state-society relations, political violence, and rebel politcs. Currently, she is a Lecturer in International Relations at the Faculty of Humanities and the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) of Leiden University.



Peyman Jafari is an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University. He has a PhD degree in History from Leiden University, and is a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and a fellow at the International Institute of Social History. He is currently working on a book project on "oil, labor and the making of modern Iran."




Lorenzo Feltrin received a PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick with a thesis investigating the role of the trade unions in the 2011 Uprisings of Morocco and Tunisia.




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