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Revolutionary weakness in Gramscian perspective: the Arab Middle East and North Africa since 2011

Chalcraft, John ORCID: 0000-0002-0302-9306 (2021) Revolutionary weakness in Gramscian perspective: the Arab Middle East and North Africa since 2011. Middle East Critique, 30 (1). 87 - 104. ISSN 1943-6149

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Identification Number: 10.1080/19436149.2021.1872858


This article sets out a Gramscian perspective on revolutionary weakness in the MENA. It aims not at a top-down analysis of how activists were crushed, but at a bottom-up analysis evaluating activist activity. Drawing on a reading of Gramsci, fieldwork in Egypt, and recent research on MENA protest, it adopts a Gramscian concept of transformative activity and applies it to the MENA since 2011. It argues that the basic elements of transformative activity in Gramsci include subaltern social groups, conceptions of the world, collective will, organisation, strategy/tactics, and historical bloc. It argues that transformative activity involves the organic articulation of these distinct moments in a complex, differentiated unity. On the basis of this view, the article shows how sense can be made of revolutionary weakness in the MENA since 2011 through a critical analysis of problems in the organic articulation of revolutionary mobilisation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 14:36
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 01:54

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