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Alice Wilson

Revisiting 'the margins' as an illuminating conceptual space analogous to, yet distinct from, the exception, this article explores the Arab Spring from its margins to highlight 'silencing effects' that, if they underpin the problematic notions of the Arab Spring and Arab exceptionalism, assume spectacular dimensions at the margins, namely, the 'disappearance' of an uprising. The disputed territory of Western Sahara, partially annexed by Morocco since 1975, saw an unprecedented uprising in October-November 2010. Annexed Western Sahara's uprising narrowly preceded Tunisia's, conventionally recognized as the first of the Arab Spring. Despite Sahrawis' perceptions of similarities between their uprising and the Arab Spring, Western Sahara's uprising is overlooked in most analyses of the Arab Spring. 'Silencing effects' obscure these similarities and, ultimately, the uprising itself.

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Gilberto Conde

As we look back in 2017 at the Arab Spring, we get a sense that it went astray rather quickly after beginning in December 2010. While in Egypt the military has taken over, Libya, Syria and Yemen have descended into chaos, and in Bahrain

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Edmund Ratka

In the midst of the European Union’s (EU) unprecedented crisis and a

rapidly changing international environment, Germany is redefining its

place in Europe and in the world. Long-cherished certainties such as a

staunch commitment to European integration and to its Western allies in

general seem being called into question. Critics like the former Chancellor

Helmut Kohl or the historian Heinrich August Winkler deplore a missing

compass and “politics without a project.”1 Against this background, this

article analyses the German policy toward an issue that forcefully marked

the year 2011 and continues to transform North Africa and the Middle

East—the so-called “Arab Spring”.

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Carmen Maganda and Harlan Koff

In the editorial note of the first issue of Regions & Cohesion, we directly asked ourselves and our readers: What role do people play in regional integration processes? Regions have, indeed, developed in different ways and for different reasons. One of the main questions behind the mission of this journal asks: Are territories serving their citizens, or do citizens serve the needs of expanding territories and interconnected markets?

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The Silent Spring

Why Pro-democracy Activity Was Avoided in Gulf Nations during the Arab Spring

Charles Mitchell, Juliet Dinkha, and Aya Abdulhamid

individuals recognize alienation from the political system and that their participation in group activity can likely lead to a change in the allocation of public provisions ( Finkel et al. 1989 ; Gibson 1991 ). During the Arab Spring of 2010 through 2012

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Flying above Bloodshed

Performative Protest in the Scared City of Damascus

Ziad Adwan

trace in the Syrian life. There are only three state newspapers, controlled by the state. Means of communication are suspicious (the Internet and mobile phones were introduced to the Syrians in 2000). The Arab Spring encouraged a common intuition that

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Debate

Religion and Revolution

Mark Juergensmeyer, Sidharthan Maunaguru, Jonathan Spencer, and Charles Lindholm

For some decades, the religious rebellion of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries was characterized by political violence, terrorism, and strident rhetoric. Then in 2011, the events collectively known as Arab Spring seemed to offer a new model: mass movements leading to democratic reform and electoral change. The elections of 2012 swept religious parties and leadership into office in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. Is this the face of the future of religious rebellion around the world?

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The Palestinian Flag Is Back

Arab Soccer in a Jewish State Revisited

Tamir Sorek

This article reexamines my argument published in 2007 regarding the apolitical character of Arab soccer fans in Israel. Until recently, explicit political protest and expressions of Palestinian national identity have remained outside the stadium. For most Arab fans, soccer was an opportunity to display common ground with Jewish citizens. Displaying Palestinian nationalism was considered to be endangering the potential for rapprochement. However, over the past decade the barriers that blocked political protest from entering the stadium have been ruptured. Several interrelated factors are suggested as explanations for this shift: multiple cycles of escalated violence in the region, a wave of anti-Arab legislation, the globalization of fan culture, the model of a politicized soccer fan provided during the Arab Spring, and the emergence of social media.

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Reforming universities in the Middle East

Trends and contestations from Egypt and Jordan

Daniele Cantini

This article addresses the core-periphery nexus by looking at some of the reform packages proposed in the 2000s in these two pivotal countries in the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the resistances they generated. These reform packages include internationalisation and privatisation policies, as well as World Bank–sponsored programmes intended to enhance the higher education sector. These programmes are marked by a high degree of isomorphism with global trends: they belong to an unquestioned centre, with peripheries as receiving points of policies elaborated elsewhere. In this article, I examine some of the resistances they were met with in Egypt and Jordan and show how their translations were shaped by the logics of the local contexts so that they were rarely implemented. Looking at post–Arab Spring developments, the article reflects on the continuity of reform packages amidst political turmoil, and the ways in which these reforms are altering or reinforcing processes of peripheralisation.

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Politics, Consumption, or Nihilism

Protest and Disorder after the Global Crash

Bob Jeffery, Joseph Ibrahim, and David Waddington

The years since the onset of global recession, circa 2008, have led to an unprecedented rise in discontent in societies around the world. Whether this be the Arab Spring of 2011 when popular uprisings against authoritarian regimes cascaded across North Africa and the Middle East, or the rise of left-wing, anti-capitalist and far-right movements in the developed 'north', ranging from the Indignados in Spain, Syriza and the Golden Dawn in Greece, Le Front National in France, student movements in Quebec, or the allegedly less articulate explosion of rage characterizing the English Riots of 2011, it is clear that Fukuyama's thesis regarding the final ascendency of liberal capitalism (and its puppet regimes in the developing world) was grossly misplaced. In Badiou's (2012) terms we are witnessing 'the rebirth of history', where all bets regarding the trajectories of local and global political economies are off.