Too Early To Tell? When Is a Revolution a Revolution?

Laleh Khalili is a senior lecturer in Middle East Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Incarceration in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford University Press, forthcoming) and co-editor with Jillian Schwedler of Policing and Prisons in the Modern Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Columbia University Press, 2010).

Locating Protest in a Broader Context of Political Dissent

Dr. Jillian Schwedler is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Previously she was Assistant Professor (200-2007) and Associate Professor (2007) of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. She received her PhD in Politics from New York University in 2000. She was formerly the Chair of the Board of Directors (2001-2009) and member of the Editorial Committee (1995-2001) of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), publishers of the quarterly magazine, Middle East Report.

This event is an installment of the CCAS spring series, 'Revolution in the Long View.'

In January and February 2011, the governments of Tunisia and Egypt were toppled in populist uprisings, and the countries have since entered a political transition whose outcome remains uncertain and open-ended. While the full dimensions of the Arab Revolutions of 2010-2011 remain unknown, they have already carried dramatic implications for the Arab authoritarian regimes and the western governments that support them. Indeed, the specter of anti-authoritarian revolt now looms across the political landscape of the Arab world, from Morocco to Iraq, as the reverberations of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution have impacted fundamentally the relations between local governing elites and their respective populations. The unfolding developments in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Oman and Iraq merely confirm that the Jasmine Revolution has transcended the boundaries of Tunisia proper, to lay claim to a broader regional mobilization of democratic aspirations and demands for radical sociopolitical reforms.

The lecture series on 'Revolution in the Arab World: The Long View' proposes a variety of interdisciplinary and long-term perspectives on the repercussions of the Revolutions of 2010-2011 for the Arab world and beyond. By addressing the question of “authoritarianism” both as a thematic and regional issue, the series seeks to interrogate two aspects of these momentous and complex events. The first concerns the fluid situations in Tunisia and Egypt where state elites, the military, and emergent non-state actors are struggling to define a new balance of power in the two countries. The second pertains to the wider implications of the Tunisian and Egyptian events, specifically in their challenges to the patterns and operations of Arab authoritarian governments. Among the thematic questions the series aims to examine and address are: the prospects for Tunisian and Egyptian reformers to institutionalize the achievements of their revolutions; the potential for the Tunisian and Egyptian examples to be repeated in other Arab countries; the comparative vulnerability of Arab authoritarian states to similar popular uprisings, and the various counter-strategies they may employ to resist, contain, or co-opt the momentum of the populist protests.

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…