[P5988] Rethinking 'Contentious Politics' in the Middle East and North Africa: Analysis of Social Networks Beyond Protests

Created by Ester Sigillo’
Tuesday, 10/06/20 11:00 am


The so-called 'Arab Spring' opened new windows of debate for all scholars interested in processes of collective action and socio-political change. Indeed, the literature on contentious politics in the Middle East and North Africa has grown since 2011. Through recent academic work, we know a lot about mobilization processes, but we still know far less about the structure of collective action at times of ‘low mobilization’. This panel discusses the value of exploring collective action beyond the revolutionary movements that started in 2011 and reignited in 2019 in many countries of North Africa and the Middle East. The opportunity to observe and understand specific processes of ordinary life, such as patterns of networking and vectors' of legitimation, would have been more limited if these studies had taken place during periods of intense mobilization. During periods of time after revolutions or periods of instability, certain power relations involving state and society are traceable only through an analysis of daily socio-political processes. Notably, this panel aims at bridging different theories and methodological approaches to collective action by analyzing the formation and evolution of local social networks in different political settings. Regardless of the disciplinary focus, this panel proposes theoretical and methodological innovations with the potential to be used in the analysis of collective action in the MENA region. Indeed, focusing on four different socio-political contexts, the papers of this panel incorporate new data sources (e.g. social media) and analytical tools to analyze social networks’ dynamics across countries.


Organized under the auspices of the Arab Political Science Network


Pol Science



    Francesco Cavatorta

    (Universite Laval)
    Panel Participating Role(s): Discussant;