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Continuity and Change in Revolutionary North Africa: New Journal Issue

January 16, 2015

CONTINUITY & CHANGE

Were the Egyptian uprisings a revolution or just regime change? Is there genuine transformation or has the deep state re-emerged fully intact and in charge?

The latest issue of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies has a special issue on Continuity and change before and after the Arab uprisings in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.”

Arguing that few studies have looked at the North African protest movements in terms of the relationships between continuity and change, the authors in this special issue seek to amend this lacunae.

Six of the ten articles in this new issue refer, at least comparatively, with Egypt (while there are two articles that focus specifically on Morocco, and one on Tunisa, there are oddly no studies specifically focused on Egypt).

Here are the abstracts:

Rivetti, Paola. 2015. Continuity and Change before and after the Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco: Regime Reconfiguration and Policymaking in North Africa. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 1-11

While the scholarship on the Arab uprisings is increasingly complex and intellectually refined, this special issue considers an aspect that so far has failed to attract sustained scholarly attention, namely continuity and change. This introduction provides the framework underpinning the special issue as a whole and discusses all the articles composing it, while elaborating on the scientific contribution that the examination of continuity and change before and after the uprisings can make to our understanding of politics in the region.

Hinnebusch, Raymond. 2015. Change and Continuity after the Arab Uprising: The Consequences of State Formation in Arab North African States. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 12-30.

This article provides a comparative macro-level overview of political development in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. It examines their evolution from the colonial period through several distinct phases, showing how differences in their origins were followed over time by a certain convergence towards a common post-populist form of authoritarianism, albeit still distinguished according to monarchic and republican legitimacy principles. On this basis, it assesses how past state formation trajectories made the republics more vulnerable to the Arab uprising but also what differences they make for the prospects of post-uprising democratisation. While in Morocco the monarch’s legitimacy allows it to continue divide-and-rule politics, in Egypt the army’s historic central role in politics has been restored, while in Tunisia the trade union movement has facilitated a greater democratic transition.

Parrolin, Gianluca P. 2015. Constitutions against Revolutions: Political Participation in North Africa. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 31-45.

This article looks into the genesis of Madisonian factions (or Elster’s interests) in the constitution-making process. The North African constitutional transitions offer prime insights into the appetites of political forces to appropriate the key decisions on how to write the constitution, which ultimately leads to undue advantages in the drafting stage. Tunisia, Egypt and Libya show different ways of appropriating that moment and the involvement of different forces. These appropriations, however, all involve limitations to political participation, with various degrees as evidenced in the three experiences. If distortions of constitution-making are deemed inappropriate, then appropriations need to be avoided.

Kohstall, Florian. 2015. From Reform to Resistance: Universities and Student Mobilisation in Egypt and Morocco before and after the Arab Uprisings. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 59-73

University students played a pivotal role in the Arab uprisings in 2011. This article explores the link between reform policies and social mobilisation through a comparison of university reforms and student protests in Egypt and Morocco. It argues that both—the fabrication of social policies and the formation of protest—are rooted in the specific political configuration of authoritarian regimes. Egypt and Morocco have both embarked on internationalising higher education, but the monarchy was more successful in embracing change through a more pluralistic type of governance. Hence, Morocco was able to escape the disruptive dynamics of the uprising, unlike Egypt, which was more reluctant to establish a new type of governance.

Hanieh, Adam. 2015. Shifting Priorities or Business as Usual? Continuity and Change in the post-2011 IMF and World Bank Engagement with Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 119-134.

Following the popular uprisings that erupted across North Africa in 2010 and 2011, international financial institutions have embarked on a significant re-engagement with governments in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. New lending arrangements and project initiatives by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, in particular, have emphasised a supposed turn towards pro-poor policies, social inclusion and public engagement with economic decision-making. This article analyses the content and logic of IMF and World Bank lending to these three countries, examining whether this re-engagement represents a substantive shift away from the neoliberal policies that characterised pre-2011 IFI relationships with the region.

Cavatorta, Francesco. 2015. No Democratic Change… and Yet No Authoritarian Continuity: The Inter-paradigm Debate and North Africa After the Uprisings. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 135-145

North Africa has gone through dramatic events since the eruption of the Arab uprisings in Tunisia in late 2010. Despite sharing similar characteristics that were central to the uprisings, they have known different political and institutional trajectories since then. The article provides an appraisal of the contributions to this special issue focusing in particular on the peculiar situation of countries where no genuine democratic change has occurred and where there is little authoritarian continuity as well.

References

Cavatorta, Francesco. 2015. No Democratic Change… and Yet No Authoritarian Continuity: The Inter-paradigm Debate and North Africa After the Uprisings. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 135-145

Hanieh, Adam. 2015. Shifting Priorities or Business as Usual? Continuity and Change in the post-2011 IMF and World Bank Engagement with Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 119-134.

Hinnebusch, Raymond. 2015. Change and Continuity after the Arab Uprising: The Consequences of State Formation in Arab North African States. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 12-30.

Kohstall, Florian. 2015. From Reform to Resistance: Universities and Student Mobilisation in Egypt and Morocco before and after the Arab Uprisings. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 59-73

Parrolin, Gianluca P. 2015. Constitutions against Revolutions: Political Participation in North Africa. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 31-45.

Rivetti, Paola. 2015. Continuity and Change before and after the Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco: Regime Reconfiguration and Policymaking in North Africa. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42(1): 1-11

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