Policing the Arab Spring: Discordant Discourses of Protest and Intervention
On 17 December 2011, when the young Tunisian fruitseller Mohammad Bouazzizi set himself on fire in the dusty town of Sidi-Bouzid, he was neither the first nor the last Tunisian to immolate himself in the months leading up to the Arab Spring (Mirak-Weissbach, 2012, p. xxv).1 Yet the public harangue he experienced at the hands of a policewoman, the prohibition against peddling his wares (his family’s sole source of income) and his subsequent abuse in the local police station were uniquely symbolic (if all too common) of the state of indignity and poverty shared by so many in the Arab world, and the degree of hostility that had developed between the people and the enforcers of order. As demonstrations triggered by the YouTube video of Bouazzizi’s self-immolation spread across Tunisia and subsequently rolled across the Arab world, crowds came together not just due to contagion but because of their own par-ticularist histories of authoritarian ill-treatment and exploitation (Joffe, 2011).
KeywordsMigration Economic Crisis Europe Income Radar
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Al-Arabiya (2012). Iran confirms sending troops to Syria, says bloodshed otherwise would be worse 23 May. Retrieved from http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/28/217014.html.
- Arab News. (2011). GCC Blasts Qadaffi gov’t as illegitimate. 10 March. Retrieved from http://www.arabnews.com/node/370698.
- Beck, Martin, and Hüser, Simone (2012) ‘Political Change in the Middle East: An Attempt to Analyze the “Arab Spring”‘, GIGA Working Paper 203, Social Science Research Network, August 31; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2145853
- Brynen, Rex et al. (2012). Beyond the Arab Spring: Authoritarianism & Democratization in the Arab World. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers).Google Scholar
- Canadian International Development Agency (1996). Government of Canada Policy for CIDA on Human Rights, Democratization and Good Governance, Retrieved from http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/acdi-cida.nsf/eng/REN-218124821-P93.
- Dean, Mitchell. (2006). Military intervention as ‘Police’ action? In Markus D. Dubber and Marian Valverde (Eds.), The New Police Science: The Police Power in Domestic and International Governance. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 185–206.Google Scholar
- FAO Economic and Social Department (2008). Part II: World food and agriculture in review. The State of Food and Agriculture 2008, FAO (Rome), 103–105.Google Scholar
- FAO Food Price Index (2011). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/foodpricesindex/en/.
- Filiu, Jean-Pierre (2011). The Arab Revolution: Ten lessons from the democratic uprising, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hibou, Béatrice, Meddeb, Hamza and Hamdi, Mohamed. (2011). Tunisia after 14 January and Its Social and Political Economy, The Issues at Stake in a Reconfiguration of European Policy. Copenhagen: European-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Fonds D’Anayse des Sociétés Politiques. June, Retrieved from http://www.euromedrights.org/files/exe_Ra_tunisie_En_150Dpi_847268817.pdf.
- Human Rights Watch (2011). Libya: Benghazi Civilians Face Grave Risk. 17 March, Retrieved from http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/17/libya-benghazi-civilians-face-grave-risk.
- Jaffe, Greg and Birnbaum, Michael. (2011). Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech. Washington Post, 10 June.Google Scholar
- Katz, Jonathan. (2013). On the third anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. The Guardian, ‘Review’, 21.Google Scholar
- Koinova, Maria. (2011b). ‘HYPERLINK “http://wrap.warwick.ac.Uk/51495/1/WRAP_Koinova_S0260210510000252a.pdf” Can Conflict-Generated Diasporas be Moderate Actors during Episodes of Contested Sovereignty? Lebanese and Albanian Diasporas Compared,’ Review of International Studies, Vol. 37, No.1, pp. 437–462.
- Krasner, Stephen. (2000). Sovereignty: Organized Hypocracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Lambton, A.K.S. (1971). State and Government in Medieval Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Lynch, Marc. (2012). The Arab Uprisings: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
- Mirak-Weissbach, Muriel. (2012). Madmen at the Helm: Pathology and Politics in the Arab Spring. Reading, UK: Ithaca Press.Google Scholar
- Obama, Barak. (2009). Text: Obama’s Speech in Cairo. New York Times, 5 June. Ortiz, Isabel and Cummings, Matthew. (2011). Income inequality: Below the bottom billion. UNICEF Social and Economic Policy Working Paper, April. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/files/Global_Inequality.pdf.
- Rice, Condaleeza. (2005). Rice calls for Mid-East democracy. BBC News Retrieved from news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4109902.stm.
- Tarrow, Sydney (1989). Struggle, Politics, and Reform: Collective Action, Social Movements and Cycles of Protest (Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press).Google Scholar
- Tilly, Charles (1978). From Mobilization to Revolution (New York: McGraw Hill Publishing Co.)Google Scholar
- The Guardian. (2012). Obama announces crackdown on Iran and Syria’s cyber oppressors. 23 April. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/obama-crackdown-cyber-oppressors.
- US Department of State (2003). Fact Sheet US-Middle East Partnership Initiative, 18 June.Google Scholar
- Wiktorowicz, Q. (Ed.) (2004). Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indianapolis University Press.Google Scholar