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Gramsci on Tahrir

Gramsci on Tahrir

Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt

by Brecht De Smet

Series: Reading Gramsci

Explores the relevance of the Gramscian concept of passive revolution and Caesarism in the context of the Egyptian revolution and counter-revolution.
Coming in the wake of intense political and academic debate on the nature and development of the Arab Uprisings, Gramsci on Tahrir zeroes in on the complex dynamic of Egypt's revolution and counter-revolution. It shows how a Gramscian understanding of the revolutionary process provides a powerful instrument for charting the possibilities for an emancipatory project by the Egyptian subaltern classes.

Central to De Smet's argument is Gramsci's interpretation of 'Caesarism', an occasion in which two evenly matched political opponents reach a potentially catastrophic stalemate; such an interplay between these forces can only end in mutual destruction. In applying this to the Egyptian revolution, we see how the Egyptian state was bereft of strong hegemonies and the people were replete with capable counter-hegemonies. Through this analysis, we can see how the current situation in Egypt demonstrates how both national histories and global power relations enable, define and displace popular resistance and social transformation.

This book is available to download through the Open Access programme.

Brecht De Smet is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies, Ghent University. Since 2008 he has been studying strike movements and political protests in Egypt from a Marxist perspective. De Smet is the author of several academic articles and opinion pieces about the workers' movement in Egypt. He is the author of Gramsci on Tahrir (Pluto, 2016) and A Dialectical Pedagogy of Revolt. Gramsci, Vygotsky, and the Egyptian Revolution (Brill, 2015).

'An important contribution to debates which should concern us all as researchers and students of potential revolutionary transformation, of Egyptian politics and of Gramsci's political thought' - Dr. Maha Abdelrahman, Reader in Development Studies and Middle East Politics, University of Cambridge, and author of 'Egypt's Long Revolution: Protest Movements and Uprisings' (Routledge, 2014) 'A wide-ranging and innovative work that will be of invaluable use to scholars of the Middle East, revolution, and 'democratic transition' and the use of Gramscian political concepts in global political economy' - Dr. Jamie Allinson, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Edinburgh, and Editor at 'Salvage' 'This is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and provocative analyses of not only the recent Egyptian revolution' - Progress in Political Economy
Series Preface
1. Introduction
Part I: On the Subject of Revolution
2. From Bourgeois to Permanent Revolution
3. A Criterion for Interpretation
4. Caesarism
Part II: Gramsci in Egypt
5. Passive Revolution and Imperialism
6. Lineages of Egyptian Caesarism
7. The 25 January Revolution
8. Revolution and Restoration
9. Conclusions
Published by Pluto Press in Jan 2016
Paperback ISBN: 9780745335575

135mm x 215mm

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