Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 18 items for :

Arab spring x
Clear All
Restricted access

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.

Restricted access

Gilberto Conde

This article looks back at the 2011 Arab Spring where the movements that brought hope to the region and beyond seem to have gone astray. The military has taken over in Egypt, while Libya, Syria and Yemen have descended into civil strife with tremendous human costs. Bahrain has witnessed repression that has overwhelmed the opposition, and while Tunisia, the country where Arab Spring began, has avoided the violence characterizing the aforementioned states, change has remained rather limited. As for other countries that rode on the same wave of mobilizations, hopes for democratic transformation have been subdued in somewhat less violent contexts but with varying degrees of pressure from the state. This article examines what has happened to the Arab Spring countries, why and what is required to democratically transform the region.

Restricted access

The Silent Spring

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

Charles Mitchell, Juliet Dinkha and Aya Abdulhamid

This article explores the Arab Spring uprisings that started in late 2010, and investigates why pro-democracy movements were circumvented in most Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Our research is qualitative in nature, and looks into the antecedents of the revolts in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, and Yemen to ascertain why revolutionary activity was precluded in Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Through the utilization of academic research, news sources, governmental, intergovernmental organization, and international nongovernmental organization reports and policy papers, we conclude that the generous allocations of public goods and the extant and reactive government policies during the Arab Spring period successfully preempted revolutionary activities in the Gulf. In this article, we also examine the only Gulf country outlier, Bahrain, by investigating what policies and conditions led to outbreaks of large-scale pro-democracy demonstrations in that nation.

Open access

Silence against Political Rape

Arab Women's Subalterniy During Political Struggles

Ola Abdalkafor

Arab Spring movements in many Arab countries revealed a gap at the heart of Arab society and politics: the large-scale subalternity of Arab women in such movements. In this essay, I hypothesize that, with few exceptions, Arab women have always avoided participation in social and political activism because of their fear of political rape – raping women as punishment during political turmoil. The essay traces the history of political rape through different stages of Arab history. The examples are taken from history, literature and international reports and they mainly cover three countries: Syria, Egypt, and Libya. These examples prove that vulnerable women’s horror at any possibility of their being sexually abused and then rejected by their families and society has always haunted them, preventing them from struggling or protesting. The essay concludes that subalternity is the only stance from which Arab women can encounter political rape. Then, the essay discusses the subalternity of Arab women in the light of the thought of the postcolonial critic Gayatri Spivak. This argument leads to the contention that the silence of Arab women vulnerable to political rape should not be considered passive and that feminist theories and actions cannot be successful in supporting subaltern Arab women without the ethical responsibility theorized by Spivak as the most appropriate approach to the subaltern female. This approach entails respecting subaltern Arab women’s culture and fears and avoiding any attempt to make them copies of the European feminist self. Subaltern Arab women who are afraid of being sexually abused have the right to protect their bodies and stick to their culture while still participating in public life.

Restricted access

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”.

Restricted access

María de Lourdes Sierra Kobeh

In this paper the author makes a preliminary assessment of the course so far taken by the so called Arab Spring and the many obstacles and challenges it has faced. Despite the high expectations that these social protest movements have generated, especially for their transformative potential, she argues that real or meaningful reforms have not been achieved so far, despite the fall of several dictators and the persistent social protests. The author stresses in particular the conditions in each of the countries in this region and the increasing external interference in the affairs of this region that allow foreign powers to exploit domestic situations to their advantage, a phenomenon not new, dating from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of modern nation-states in the Arab world. She proposes to analyze these movements in the light of a broader historical perspective to help us understand the full extent and complexity of the processes that are taking place in this strategic region, as these social protest movements have been present throughout the years, with periods of progress and setbacks, within a complex and long process marked by internal quarrels, regional rivalries, and strong external interference.

Spanish En este trabajo, la autora hace un balance preliminar sobre el curso que hasta ahora ha tomado la llamada “primavera árabe“ y los múltiples obstáculos y desafíos que ésta ya está enfrentando. Sostiene que, a pesar de las grandes expectativas que estos movimientos de protesta social han generado, sobre todo por su potencial transformador, no se han logrado hasta ahora reformas reales o significativas, a pesar de la caída de varios dictadores y la persistencia de las protestas sociales. Destaca en particular las condiciones existentes en cada uno de los países de la región y la creciente interferencia externa en los asuntos de la región que permite a las potencias extranjeras aprovechar las situaciones internas en su propio beneficio, un fenómeno nada nuevo, que data de la desintegración del Imperio Otomano y la conformación de los modernos Estados nacionales del mundo árabe. Propone, asimismo, analizar dichos movimientos a la luz de una perspectiva histórica más amplia, que nos ayude a comprender en toda su magnitud y complejidad los procesos que se están desarrollando en esta estratégica región, ya que estos movimientos de protesta social no son del todo nuevos. Han estado presentes a todo lo largo de estos años, con períodos de avances y retrocesos, dentro de un proceso complejo y prolongado, marcado por luchas internas, rivalidades regionales y una fuerte interferencia externa.

French Dans cet essai, l'auteur fait un compte rendu préliminaire sur le chemin pris par ce qui a été nommé « Le printemps arabe », ainsi que les multiples obstacles et défis auxquels ce phénomène à été confronté. Il met particulièrement en relief, les conditions dans lesquelles ce phénomène est survenu dans chaque pays de la région, ainsi que l'ingérence croissante des puissances étrangères dans les affaires internes des pays concernés et dont les agissements lors de la crise feront d'eux les principaux bénéficiaires. Un phénomène qui n'est pas nouveau et qui date de la chute de l'Empire ottoman et de la naissance des États-nation du monde arabe. En même temps, cet article se propose d'analyser ces mouvements sous l'angle d'une perspective historique plus étendue a fin d'offrir une meilleure compréhension de la magnitude et de la complexité des processus qui se développent dans ce e région stratégique, puisque tous ces mouvements de protestation sociale ne sont pas nouveaux. Ces mouvements ont été présents tout au long de ces années où il y a eu des périodes positives et aussi négatives dans le cadre d'un processus complexe et d'une longue durée, marqué par des lu es internes, des rivalités régionales et une forte intervention externe.

Restricted access

Pedro Buendía

The emergence of graffiti's urban subculture as a means of political expression has become a singular issue of the so-called Arab Spring. Graffiti and urban art, which had little to no relevance in the Arab world until now, emerged with unusual force in many countries, notably in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Egypt. This blossoming takes shape in tangent with the strengthening of a civil society and its rise as a decisive actor in the new political arena. In Egypt's case, graffiti achieved a leading role that reflected the milestones of civil disturbance, marking the walls with virtual snapshots of the popular sentiment. The proliferation of graffiti also had considerable resonance in international media because of the strategy of spreading rebellious and subversive slogans by means of the symbolic occupation of a public space, which, until now, was monopolized by authoritarian powers.

Spanish Un fenómeno singular de la denominada “Primavera Árabe“ ha sido la eclosión de la subcultura urbana del graffiti como medio de expresión política. De escasa o nula relevancia hasta ahora, el arte urbano de las pintadas ha surgido con una fuerza inusitada en varias zonas del mundo árabe, notoriamente en los Territorios Palestinos, el Líbano y Egipto. Dicho florecimiento cuaja en paralelo con la rearticulación de la sociedad civil y su irrupción irreversible como actor de los nuevos escenarios políticos. En el caso de Egipto, los graffitis han tenido un señalado protagonismo como reflejo de los sucesivos hitos de las revueltas, marcando los muros y paredes con verdaderas instantáneas del sentir popular. La proliferación del graffiti ha tenido asimismo una considerable resonancia en los medios internacionales, debido a la estrategia de ocupar simbólicamente el espacio público, -que hasta ahora estaba reservado al monopolio de los poderes autoritarios- para la difusión de consignas contestatarias y subversivas.

French Un phénomène singulier de la “printemps arabe“ a été l'émergence de la culture urbaine du graffiti comme un moyen d'expression politique. Avec peu ou pas d'importance jusqu'à ce jour, l'art urbain et le graffiti ont émergé avec une force inhabituelle dans diverses régions du monde arabe, notamment dans les Territoires Palestiniens, le Liban et l'Égypte. Ce e éclosion doit être mise en parallèle avec le renforcement de la société civile et son émergence comme acteur décisif dans le nouveau scénario politique. Dans le cas de l'Égypte, le graffiti a joué un rôle clé comme reflet des jalons successifs des révoltes, en marquant les murs avec des instantanés virtuelles du sentiment populaire. La prolifération des graffitis a rencontré aussi un écho remarquable dans les médias internationaux en raison de la stratégie d'occupation symbolique de l'espace public pour la diffusion des slogans rebelles et subversifs; un espace public qui était réservé jusqu'à aujourd'hui aux pouvoirs autoritaires.

Full access

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 diff erent ways and for diff erent 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?

Restricted access

Italy in the Middle East and the Mediterranean

Evolving Relations with Egypt and Libya

Elisabetta Brighi and Marta Musso

The Mediterranean and the Middle East have long constituted an important “circle” in Italy’s foreign policy, with Egypt and Libya playing a particularly important role. During 2016, two sources of tension emerged in Italy’s relations with these countries. The first reflects a wider European situation. Like the rest of the EU, Italy has followed strategic interests—on migration, energy, and security—that sometimes conflict with the promotion of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, which the EU claims to promote in its external relations. The Regeni affair, involving a murdered Italian graduate student, exemplified this tension. The second source results from the role of corporate interests in Italy, especially those of oil and energy companies, in relation to the country’s “national interests.” Italian foreign policy toward both Libya and Egypt seems to have been driven by a combination of somewhat overlapping but also divergent national and corporate interests.

Restricted access

The Enigma of Mobility

Reflections on the Arab Revolutions

Frank Uekoetter

This article makes a first attempt at outlining the place of the ongoing arab revolution in modern history, with special attention to its significance to mobility studies. taking issue with readings that emphasize the roots of the revolt in islam or the arab world, it stresses the economic background of the grievance, and specifically the elusive hope for social mobility in the countries' youth. it also highlights the crucial role of networking activities, both face-to- face and online, in creating the momentum that led to toppling of powerful regimes in Egypt and tunisia. The article seeks to demonstrate how mobility studies can highlight the peculiar challenges that both countries are currently facing. By way of conclusion, it shows how the case at hand forces us to think more about the mind of mobility, and more broadly about the ambitions and theoretical promises that the field of mobility studies should embrace.