From the Editors
When the Egyptian Uprising of 2011 began, we heard media pundits, friends, and colleagues milling about in search of apt metaphors to describe the mass protests and revolution in Egypt. In so far as “history” was mobilized in these discussions, it was generally as repetition or analogy. Hence: the Berlin Wall; Tiananmen Square; the first Palestinian Intifada; the Iranian Revolution; the Paris Commune; and the French Revolution, as well as Egypt’s own 1919 and 1952 revolutions. But do these vivid comparisons conceal more than they reveal? Indeed, one could argue that one of the most striking aspects of the contemporary media discussions surrounding Mubarak’s Egypt is the absence of any real sense of history. It is not enough to fill this void with rhetorical comparisons and poetic license.
While an understanding of the process of privatization, economic marginalization, consumerism, and structural adjustment that we refer to as “neo-liberalism” is crucial to understanding the contemporary unfolding of events, particularly in terms of the existence of vast economic inequalities and the impoverishment of the demographic masses, a focus on neo-liberalism alone fails to address the question of the historical relationship in Egypt between ruler and ruled. What would a longer-term historical perspective, a deeper structural view of the events in Egypt look like? Focusing on popular protest and mobilization in Egypt’s 1919, 1952, and 2011 revolutions, I focus on the internal dynamics of, and discontinuities between, each of these revolutions, characterizing them as nationalist, passive, and popular, respectively.
This article is now featured in Jadaliyya's edited volume entitled Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). The volume documents the first six months of the Arab uprisings, explaining the backgrounds and trajectories of these popular movements. It also archives the range of responses that emanated from activists, scholars, and analysts as they sought to make sense of the rapidly unfolding events. Click here to access the full article by ordering your copy of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings from Amazon, or use the link below to purchase from the publisher.
17 comments for "Egypt's Three Revolutions: The Force of History behind this Popular Uprising"
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
I wondered why they did not appreciate that I was fighting against my mother...That was a turning point in my life. I realized that I was simultaneously discriminated against in my life and in my family.click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Beard Phobia
- نفس الكتاب".. جرحٌ تعجز الكتابة عن لَأْمِه"
- On the Margins Roundup (August)
- Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam Dies
- An Open Letter
- New Texts Out Now: Erin Runions, The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 26)
- الخطر السياسي القادم ما بعد العدوان على غزة
- ملف من الأرشيف: محمد شكري
- Syria Media Roundup (August 15)
- Antisemitism and Salaita
- Israel's "Operation Status Quo": A Preliminary Assessment
- Who Are the Insurgents and Counterinsurgents?
- Support for Steven Salaita and the UIUC Boycott Continues to Grow
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (August 18-24)
- لا تقصص رؤياك
- Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: A Profile from the Archives
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 August)
- منام الطفل السنجاريّ
- Gauging the July-August 2014 Gaza War
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Open Letter on Gaza and BDS from the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies http://t.co/OMwnsGTx7u
16 hours ago
After The Ceasefire: Searching for Accountability http://t.co/gpZ8kUO9Qb
19 hours ago
Beard Phobia http://t.co/TezE4AS1f9
22 hours ago
أيُّوب المزيِّن: "نفس الكتاب" .. جرح تعجز الكتابة عن لَأمه http://t.co/tKasO3qgrH
yesterday at 7:48 AM
ملف من الأرشيف: محمد شكري http://t.co/aiKmyZU4WG
on Wednesday 27 August at 11:30 AM