[P4916] New Boundaries of State/Resistance Constellations in the Middle East

Created by Laryssa Chomiak
Monday, 11/20/17 10:30am


Since the outbreak of the Arab uprisings, a flood of research on politics has focused on understanding the patterns and divergent trajectories of the uprisings primarily through the literatures on social movements, authoritarianism/democracy, and political economy. This panel aims to examine the political present in the Middle East through different conceptual and methodological approaches in order to shed light on patterns and practices that are less visible in the dominant debates.

The papers adopt different scales of inquiry and employ diverse methodological approaches, and all bring original empirical research to bear on their questions. Each also explores the relationship between sites of state power and modes of resistance, breaking away from the conceptual binaries produced through conventional understandings of state/society relations. They pay particular attention to asymmetries in state formation and the distribution of state power across time and space, examining the processes and practices that seek to define the contours of state power. One paper examines the temporal, geographic, and sectoral patterns of protest policing in Tunisia and Morocco, and how moments of political rupture shift the logic of repressive response to popular mobilization. Another rethinks the repression-resistance model by analyzing how experiences of state repression among the formal opposition in Egypt and Tunisia shape these actors' political preferences through identities and result in different levels of political polarization. As a consequence, these novel approaches to repression open possibilities for (or contractions of) a politics of contention and resistance, which are highlighted by the other two presentations. What do "municipal encounters," the everyday encounters between citizens and municipal officials, make visible about contention and everyday experiences of the post-revolution state in Tunisia? How have political-economic ruptures impacted the mode of protests in Jordan, mobilization on the margins in Tunisia or rightful resistance in Algeria? For this, questions of temporalities are central, not only to challenge the conventional before/after lens around political ruptures but also to take seriously how those involved in protest activities and state transformation understand their own actions. Questions guiding the papers include: How is space appropriated by political elites, everyday practices or resistance movements? How has the language and narrative of resistance transformed or remained? How do efforts aimed toward political authority impact fragmentation or cohesion? And how do these various practices call for a rethinking of the dominant regime/repression model?


Middle East Law and Governance


Pol Science




Jillian M. Schwedler

(Hunter College, CUNY)
Jillian Schwedler is Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York, Hunter College and the Graduate Center. She is author of the award-winning Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (Cambridge 2006) and most recently...
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

Laryssa Chomiak

(American Institute for Maghrib Studies)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Elizabeth R. Nugent

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

Chantal Berman

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

Lana Salman

(University of California Berkeley)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;