Social movement studies and the Middle East

Authored by: Anne Marie Baylouny

Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138047631
eBook ISBN: 9781315170688
Adobe ISBN:


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Pushed by an attempt to understand the presumably surprising Arab uprisings, the Middle East is slowly being integrated into social movement studies, or the study of contentious politics more generally. In this chapter, I theoretically develop the often-neglected roles of grievances, emotions, and tactics in social movements, demonstrating how they can illuminate protests in the Middle East. Injustice grievances are powerful mobilizers of protest. Positive emotions can sustain protest, even in overtly violent organizations. Tactics are an aspect of mobilizing that should be elevated to the level of framing, mobilizing, and opportunities. Activists’ tactical choices can determine a movement’s fate.

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