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Brecht De Smet

Once Again on Caesarism: Continuing the Debate with Joel Beinin

[Photo courtesy of Gigi Ibrahim via Flickr]

In his reply to my previous contribution on Jadaliyya, Joel Beinin addresses some of the points he raised earlier in his criticism of my article “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt”. Having dropped the debate on the character and the meaning of ‘revolution’, Beinin now focuses on my “over-use” of Gramscian concepts, which “undermines their analytical utility”. It is good to hear that he agrees with “the potential relevance of Gramsci’s theoretical insights to ...

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Theory and its Consequences: A Reply to Joel Beinin

[Graffiti in Alexandria, Egypt drawn a few days following the 25 January uprising. Image originally posted to Wikimedia Commons.]

In a piece on Jadaliyya, labor historian and scholar of the Egyptian revolution Joel Beinin engages critically with my article entitled “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt.” Beinin takes issue with two lines of argument developed in the text. The first is my rejection of a “consequentialist” perspective towards revolution, which means that I do not think a process should be deemed a revolution or not solely based on its objective outcomes. The second is the relevance ...

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Brecht De Smet


Brecht De Smet is a postdoctoral research assistant at the Middle East and North Africa Research Group and a lecturer in Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University, Belgium. Since 2008 he has been studying political and economic protests in Egypt, and more specifically the relation between political activists and trade unionists. De Smet has published on different aspects of the Egyptian revolution: learning processes and strikes; the mass strike; counter-revolution; and the “Republic of Tahrir.”