SPECIAL PANEL EVENT: The Second Arab Spring: Seasons of Revolution

Key information

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Russell Square: College Buildings
Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)

About this event

Dr Janan Aljabiri (Aman Organization for Women, Iraq) | Dr Rima Majed (American University of Beirut, Lebanon) | Professor Gilbert Achcar (SOAS University of London)

In December 2010, the uprising that started in Tunisia set in motion a regional revolutionary shockwave widely referred to in 2011 as the Arab Spring. Eight years later, in December 2018, a new uprising in Sudan inaugurated what has taken in 2019 the shape of a second revolutionary shockwave engulfing Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon, along with an outburst in Iran and tremors in Egypt. The second wave confirmed that the Arab Spring was but the first ‘season’ in a long-term revolutionary process affecting all countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This stems from a deep social crisis: neoliberal reforms in the regional context of oligarchic states led to a developmental blockage producing the highest world rates of youth unemployment, among other features such as extensive poverty and huge inequalities. In this regional framework, Iraq and Lebanon share a specific feature, that of a ruling system based on ‘consociational democracy’, i.e. a re-partition of the political and financial cake on a sectarian basis between members of the ruling oligarchy. A striking feature of the uprising in both countries has been its ability to transcend sectarian cleavages by unifying the popular majority behind common social and political demands.

Janan Aljabiri is a co-founder of Aman Organization for Women in Iraq. She holds a PhD in Social and Policy Sciences from the University of Bath and is currently based in Baghdad. Most of her publications are in Arabic; writings by her in English can be found on the websites Jacobin and Fair Observer. On Iraq's uprising, she has written (title/link to a forthcoming Jacobin piece to be provided after publication).

Rima Majed is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Oxford. Her work is published in several academic journals and media platforms including Mobilization; Global Change, Peace and Security; Global Dialogue; Idafat: The Arab Journal of Sociology; Al Jumhuriya; and Al Jazeera English. On Lebanon's uprising, she has written Lebanon’s ‘October Revolution’ must go on!

Gilbert Achcar is Professor in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. He grew up in Beirut and was back there in December. He holds a PhD from the University of Paris VIII. On the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, he has published The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013) and Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (2016). On the ongoing new wave of uprisings in MENA, he has recently given two long interviews to ROAR and the MLR .

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/ events/2446868138910252/

Organiser: Feyzi Ismail (fi2@soas.ac.uk)