Universiteit Leiden

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Conference | Roundtable

The Decade of Revolt? Class Conflict and the State of Permanent Crisis in the Post-2011 Middle East

Friday 18 February 2022
13.00 - 14.30 and 15.00 - 16.30
Image from “Revolution Graffiti: Street Art of the New Egypt,” by Swedish photographer Mia Gröndahl (AUC Press, 2013)

Stella Morgana (UvA)
Nicola Degli-Esposti (LSE and University of Padova) 

prof. Melani Cammett, Harvard University
prof. Adam Hanieh, University of Exeter
dr. Christian Henderson Leiden University
dr. Nadine Sika, the American University of Cairo


Ten years after the so-called Arab Springs swiftly took down brutal dictators from Tunisia to Yemen, catching scholars and experts by surprise, a new wave of revolts is shaking the Middle East. Neoliberalism, austerity, and a state of permanent crisis have continued to characterise the Middle East and the demands of the 2011 revolutions remain unmet, constituting a permanent source of mobilisation. Since 2018, mass protests have become endemic in Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon, and in 2019 popular mobilisation forced the elites of Algeria and Sudan to fire old dictators and reluctantly embark on uncertain transitions. The lens of sectarianism, through which mainstream scholarship interpreted the ‘defeat’ of the 2011 revolutions, has no way to explain a series of revolts characterised by mobilisation across deep-seated ethnic and religious divides. Committed to overcoming orientalist stereotypes, this roundtable/workshop discusses continuity and innovation in a decade of Arab revolt through the prism of class and political economy.

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