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The prince and the minotaur: Egypt in the labyrinth of counter-revolution

De Smet, Brecht (2020) The prince and the minotaur: Egypt in the labyrinth of counter-revolution. LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series (36). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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This paper contributes to the study of Egypt’s 25 January Revolution and to a more general understanding of revolutions and counter-revolutions. I turn to Gramsci’s concepts of hegemony, passive revolution, and the Modern Prince to understand the weakness of revolutionary subjectivity. Moreover, I argue that the concept of prefiguration serves as a critical addendum to Gramsci’s discussion of a new emancipatory politics embodied by the Modern Prince. Conversely, Gramsci’s concept of hegemony helps us to understand the theoretical and practical limits of prefigurative politics. By presenting the Egyptian counter-revolution as a labyrinthine structure, the paper cautions against simplistic views of reaction and the lure of processes of ‘democratic transition’ and mass movements ‘from above’ that derail revolutionary agency from its key, emergent purpose: to develop itself into a social power able to construct the alternative society it imagines.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:31

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