Comprehensive histories of social movements in the Middle East and North Africa are few and far between. The ‘long version’ of this chapter is to be found in John Chalcraft, Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). Charles Tripp’s The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) is a landmark book on themes of resistance, exclusion and power in the region, particularly with reference to the period since independence. The most important work in relation to workers and peasants is Joel Beinin’s Workers and Peasants in Modern Middle East (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). Edmund Burke III’s introduction in Edmund Burke III and Ira Lapidus (eds), Islam, Politics and Social Movements (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988) is still seminal reading for its chronological and historiographic overview. An important edited volume in the history-from-below tradition is Stephanie Cronin, Subalterns and Social Protest: History from Below in the Middle East and North Africa (London: Routledge, 2008). Another useful volume is Ellis Goldberg (ed.), The Social History of Labor in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996). Zachary Lockman’s introduction to his edited volume, Workers and Working Classes in the Middle East: Struggles, Histories, Historiographies (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994) offers an overview of the historiography and critique of determinism in labour history. Also useful is Donald Quataert and Erik Jan Zürcher (eds), Workers and the Working Class in the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, 1839–1950 (London: I.B. Tauris, 1995). Gilbert Achcar’s The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (London: Saqi Books, 2013) is an important overview of the Arab uprisings, written under the sign of Marx.
Two outstanding examples of histories of protest in particular countries are Hanna Batatu’s The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978) and Julia Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint: Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters (Algeria and Tunisia, 1800–1904) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). Another is Ervand Abrahamian’s Iran between Two Revolutions. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982). Juan Cole’s book on the ‘Urabi movement in Egypt and its social origins is still important Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), as is Fred Halliday’s Arabia Without Sultans (London: Penguin, 1974). A recent important history, paying attention to the transnational, colonialism, and armed struggle, is Abdel Razzaq Takriti’s Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965–1976 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).
Important works with a strong thematic cast include Parvin Paidar’s Women and the Political Process in Twentieth Century Iran (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) useful for its analysis of gender and women in political processes in Iran. Beth Baron’s Egypt as a Woman: Nationalism, Gender, and Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007) is a thorough history of high-status women’s activism in Egypt during 1919 and after. Laleh Khalili’s Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) explores the role of the translocal, as well as nationalist commemoration in shifting discourses of Palestinian resistance. An important article showing how culture and consciousness and the translocal can be written into historical materialism is Zachary Lockman’s ‘Imagining the Working Class: Culture, Nationalism and Class Formation in Egypt, 1899–1914’, Poetics Today 15 (Summer 1994), pp. 157–190. Mazin Qumsiyeh’s Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment (London: Pluto, 2011) surveys the history of non-violent resistance among Palestinians. An important article in regard to ‘terrorism’ is Joel Beinin, ‘Is Terrorism a Useful Term in Understanding the Middle East and the Palestinian–Israeli Conflict?’, Radical History Review 85 (Winter 2003), pp. 12–23.
A useful edited volume bringing conventional social movement theory to bear on Islamic activism is Quintan Wiktorowicz (ed.), Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004). Works by Wickham, Hafez, and Clark have applied social movement concepts to the rise of Islamism since the 1970s: Carrie Rosefsky-Wickham, Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism, and Political Change in Egypt (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002); Muhammad Hafez, Why Muslims Rebel: Repression and Resistance in the Islamic World (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003); Janine Clark, Islam, Charity, and Activism: Middle Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004). A thorough application of social movement theory to the Egyptian uprising is Jeroen Gunning and Ilan Zvi Baron, Why Occupy a Square? People, Protests and Movements in the Egyptian Revolution (London: Hurst & Co, 2013). Joel Beinin and Frédéric Vairel (eds), Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013) breaks new ground by drawing on relational revisionism in contentious politics. Charles Kurzman’s The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004) offers a striking rejection of structuralism. Asef Bayat’s Street Politics: Poor People’s Movements in Iran (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997) is important for its focus on everyday forms of resistance and ‘quiet encroachment’. New and important work on the Arab uprisings, written with an eye on debates about protest, includes Neil Ketchley, ‘The Army and the People are One Hand! Fraternization and the 25th January Egyptian Revolution’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 1 (2014), pp. 155–186; Maha Abdelrahman, ‘Social Movements and the Question of Organization: Egypt and Everywhere’ (London: Middle East Centre, LSE, Paper Series, 2015) and Charles Tripp, ‘Battlefields of the Republic: The Struggle for Public Space in Tunisia’ (London: Middle East Centre, LSE, Paper Series, 2015).