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Egypt’s 2011 uprising, subaltern cultural politics, and revolutionary weakness

Chalcraft, John ORCID: 0000-0002-0302-9306 (2020) Egypt’s 2011 uprising, subaltern cultural politics, and revolutionary weakness. Social Movement Studies. ISSN 1474-2837

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14742837.2020.1837101


Explanations for the weakness and failure of the uprisings in the Arab world of 2011 range from the hard-power and structure-centred accounts of conventional political science to interactionist studies emphasizing micro-dynamics and relational mechanisms. Drawing on Gramscian perspectives, and fieldwork in Egypt, this article aims to open up an occluded line of investigation into the subaltern cultural politics of the uprising in Egypt as a way to make sense of revolutionary weaknesses and limits. While critical researchers have studied the political economy of the revolutionary process and the counter-revolution, considered activist organizational and strategic deficits, and studied the limits on the political vision of middle class revolutionaries, less attention has been paid to subaltern cultural politics. This article argues that the study of popular good sense against the regime and common sense supporting the army can help explain revolutionary weakness in Egypt during 2011-13.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2020 10:54
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2022 23:00

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