Chapter

The Protesting Middle East

Bahgat Korany and Rabab El-Mahdi

in Arab Spring in Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9789774165368
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781617971365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774165368.003.0002
The Protesting Middle East

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This chapter discusses the failure of comparative politics of the Middle East to foresee the Arab uprisings that swept the region in 2011. It argues that except for few attempts, the field's focus on regime-level and formal politics deviated attention from contentious politics that was brewing throughout the region and especially in Egypt. Providing a general synthesis of the literature the chapter introduces key themes in the book that are further developed in other chapters; including the labor movement, women struggles, and the rise of the pro-democracy and anti-war movements. It argues that the Egyptian Revolution as a case in point came as a culmination of a decade of protests and budding social movements. The authors argue for the usefulness of other approaches such as Social Movement Theory, social-anthropology approaches, and political economy to understanding of Middle East politics. The chapter concludes with a synopsis of book and highlighting key aspects of looking at Middle East politics in the post-Arab Spring years.

Keywords: Middle East politics; contentious politics; social movements; protests; authoritarianism

Chapter.  3586 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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