[P4813] After the Spring: Contentious Politics and Political Processes beyond 2011

Created by Christopher Barrie
Sunday, 11/19/17 3:30pm


Since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 scholars of Middle Eastern politics have spilled considerable ink analyzing the processes of contention and resistance that brought about these unexpected outbursts of people power. But in the years since the uprisings, popular mobilization appears to have given way to other forms of politics in the Arab Spring states - in some cases to violent civil conflict and in others to a resurgence of authoritarian domination. How have patterns of contention evolved in the context of what some have termed the "Arab Thermidor"? And how have these contentious processes shaped the divergent political outcomes that we see across the Arab Spring states?

Taken together, the papers in this panel address these two related questions. Using a variety of research methods, including ethnographic participant observation, interviews, content analysis, comparative cases, and quantitative event analysis they examine the processes of contention that have shaped the post-Arab Spring period. The papers demonstrate that contention remains a persistent mode of engaging in politics for citizens across the Arab world. They show that contention in the region may take different forms and may emerge from diverse sectors. They also demonstrate that these contentious challenges are consequential, sometimes in unexpected ways, when it comes to policy responses, formal and elite politics, and regime trajectories.

Individually, the papers address a range of specific empirical sites and research questions. The first paper studies variation in protest repertoires in Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan, analyzing the different logics and implications of various modes of protest both before and after the uprisings. The second looks to the divergent patterns of labor mobilization seen in Egypt and Tunisia, and shines a light on the role of labor in transitional settings. The third paper probes the consequences of rapid mobilization on the structure of democratic coalitions and the possibilities for democratic consolidation, with a particular focus on Egypt. And the final paper studies the popular roots of counterrevolution by examining the contentious mobilization that preceded Egypt's 2013 coup and comparing Egypt to several other cases of successful revolution in the Middle East and elsewhere.

This panel challenges scholars to think critically about the forms and consequences of mobilization that continue to drive political change in the Arab world. Though the Arab Spring may be over, the contentious processes that made it possible are as tenacious as ever.


Pol Science



Eva Bellin

(Brandeis University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair; Discussant;

Dina Bishara

(University of Alabama)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Killian Clarke

(Princeton University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Christopher Barrie

(University of Oxford)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Ali Kadivar

(Brown University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;