Advertisement

Policing the Arab Spring: Discordant Discourses of Protest and Intervention

  • Roxane Farmanfarmaian

Abstract

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).

Keywords

European Union Social Movement Arab World Gulf Cooperation Council Political Opportunity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adamson, Fiona B. (2005). Global liberalism versus political Islam: Competing ideological frameworks in international politics. International Studies Review, 7(4), 547–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alex J. Bellamy (2011) ‘Libya and the Responsibility to Protect: The Exception and the Norm’, Ethics & International Affairs, 25, pp. 263–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 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.
  4. Al-Jarrah, Abdallah and Cullingford, Cedric. (2007). The concept of democracy: Muslim views. Politics, 27(1), 16–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arab News. (2011). GCC Blasts Qadaffi gov’t as illegitimate. 10 March. Retrieved from http://www.arabnews.com/node/370698.
  6. Ayers, Alison J. (2009). Imperial liberties: Democratisation and governance in the ‘new’ imperial order. Political Studies, 57(1), March, 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 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
  8. Bob, Clifford. (2005). The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media and International Activism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brahimi, Alia. (2011). Libya’s revolution. The Journal of North African Studies, 16(4), December, 573–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brynen, Rex et al. (2012). Beyond the Arab Spring: Authoritarianism & Democratization in the Arab World. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers).Google Scholar
  11. Cavatorta, Francesco and Rikke Hostrup Haugbølle. (2011). The end of authoritarian rule and the mythology of Tunisia under Ben Ali. Mediterranean Politics, 17(2), 179–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Caygill, Howard. (2001). Perpetual police?: Kosovo and the elision of police and military violence. European Journal of Social Theory, 4(1), 73–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. FAO Food Price Index (2011). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/foodpricesindex/en/.
  17. Filiu, Jean-Pierre (2011). The Arab Revolution: Ten lessons from the democratic uprising, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Jaffe, Greg and Birnbaum, Michael. (2011). Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech. Washington Post, 10 June.Google Scholar
  21. Joffe, E.G.H. (2008). The European Union, democracy and counter-terrorism in the Maghrib. Journal of Common Market Studies, 46(1), 147–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joffe, E.G.H. (2011). The Arab spring in North Africa: Origins and prospects. The Journal of North African Studies, 16(4), December, 507–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kandil, Hazem. (2012). Why did the Egyptian middle class march to Tahrir Square? Mediterranean Politics, 17(2), 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Katz, Jonathan. (2013). On the third anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. The Guardian, ‘Review’, 21.Google Scholar
  25. Khouri, Rami (2011). ‘Spring or Revolution? The Globe and Mail, 18 August; HYPERLINK “http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/arab-spring-or-revolution/article626345/” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/arab-spring-or-revolution/article626345/
  26. Koga, Jun. (2011). Where do third parties intervene? International Studies Quarterly, 55(4), 1143–1166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 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.
  28. Krasner, Stephen. (2000). Sovereignty: Organized Hypocracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Lambton, A.K.S. (1971). State and Government in Medieval Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Leenders, Reinoud and Heydemann, Steven. (2011). Popular mobilization in Syria: Opportunity and threat and the social networks of early risers. Mediterranean Politics, 17(2), 139–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lynch, Marc. (2012). The Arab Uprisings: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  32. Mabrouk, Mehdi. (2011). A revolution for dignity and freedom: Preliminary observations on the social and cultural background to the Tunisian revolution. The Journal of North African Studies, 16(4), December; 625–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McAdam, Doug, Tarrow, Sidney and Tilly, Charles. (2001). Dynamics of Contention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Meyer, David S. (2003). Political opportunity and nested institutions. Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, 2(1), 17–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Meyer, David S. (2004). Protest and political opportunities. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 125–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mirak-Weissbach, Muriel. (2012). Madmen at the Helm: Pathology and Politics in the Arab Spring. Reading, UK: Ithaca Press.Google Scholar
  37. Nanabhay, Mohamed and Farmanfarmaian, Roxane. (2011). From spectacle to spectacular: How physical space, social media and mainstream broadcast amplified the public sphere in Egypt’s ‘Revolution’. The Journal of North African Studies, 16(4), December, 573–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Neocleous, Mark (2011). ‘The Policing of Civilization: The War on Terror as Civilizing Offensive’, International Political Sociology, Vol. 5(2); pp. 144–159; June.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 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.
  40. Pace, Michelle and Cavatorta, Francesco. (2012). The Arab uprisings in theoretical perspective — an introduction. Mediterranean Politics, 17(2), 125–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rice, Condaleeza. (2005). Rice calls for Mid-East democracy. BBC News Retrieved from news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4109902.stm.
  42. Tarrow, Sydney (1989). Struggle, Politics, and Reform: Collective Action, Social Movements and Cycles of Protest (Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press).Google Scholar
  43. Tarrow, Sidney. 1998. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tilly, Charles (1978). From Mobilization to Revolution (New York: McGraw Hill Publishing Co.)Google Scholar
  45. Teti, G. and Gervasio, G. (2011). The unbearable lightness of Arab authoritarianism: Lessons from the Arab uprisings. Mediterranean Politics, 16(2), 321–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 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.
  47. US Department of State (2003). Fact Sheet US-Middle East Partnership Initiative, 18 June.Google Scholar
  48. Weiss, Thomas G. (2011). RtoP alive and well after Libya. Ethics & International Affairs, 25(3), Fall, 287–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wiktorowicz, Q. (Ed.) (2004). Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indianapolis University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roxane Farmanfarmaian 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roxane Farmanfarmaian

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations