[P4739] On the Verge of Rout: The Politics of Hope and Disappointment Post the Arab Spring

Created by Nermin Allam
Tuesday, 11/21/17 1:00pm


For many observers, the return of authoritarian confidence, the changing zeitgeist among activists and the mixed gender outcomes following the Arab Spring are signs that the grand visions of the uprisings are gone. More dramatically, that the Arab Spring was a false hope in a future that never came and that politics is now marked with disappointment. Disappointment emerges as people compare the expectations of the revolution to the post-revolutionary realities. It does not, however, mark the end of politics; the politics of disappointment, social movement theorists argue, is a complex political and effective form in its own right. Contrary to the grim picture of quiescence, activists continue to crave a space for dissent and action notwithstanding the closing of the political space and their disappointment in the political process. This panel aims to bring together scholars and intellectuals of social movements and Middle Eastern studies to analyse in comparative detail the conditions under which the politics of disappointment prevail. It also aims to ascertain opportunities and forms of activism and action that continue nonetheless to take place despite a sense of dismay or even perhaps futility. The analysis presented will contribute to refuting the myth of Middle Eastern Exceptionalism. It illuminates that disappointment is not an exceptional political modality to the Middle East and does not mark the end of politics. Themes to be covered include:

1. Public opinion, activism, and civil society in the MENA region.
2. Women's right and sexual violence post the Arab uprisings.
3. The status of sexual and religious minorities in the Middle East following the uprisings.
4. Authoritarian reconsolidation and democratization.
5. Regional instability and sectarianism.


Pol Science




Nathan J. Brown

(George Washington University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Discussant;

Amaney A. Jamal

(Princeton University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

Steven T. Brooke

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

Mariam Georgis

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

Nermin Allam

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

Shimaa Hatab

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