Sovereignty, bare life and the Arab Uprisings

Mabon, Simon Paul (2017) Sovereignty, bare life and the Arab Uprisings. Third World Quarterly, 38 (8). pp. 1782-1799. ISSN 0143-6597

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Five years after people took to the streets in protest at political organisation across the Middle East, the consequences of these actions remain. As the protests gained traction, states began to fragment and regimes sought to retain power, whatever the cost. While a great deal of focus has been upon what happened, very little attention has been paid to the role of agency within the context of the fragmenting sovereignty and political change. This article contributes to these debates by applying the work of Giorgio Agamben to the post-Arab Uprisings Middle East, to understand the relationship between rulers and ruled along with the fragmentation of the sovereign state. The article argues for the need to bring agency back into conceptual debates about sovereignty within the Middle East. It concludes by presenting a framework that offers an approach building upon Agamben’s bare life.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Third World Quarterly
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Third World Quarterly on 15/03/2017, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? arab springmiddle eaststate buildingsectarianism and communalismagambendevelopment ??
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Deposited On:
16 Mar 2017 14:10
Last Modified:
17 Dec 2023 01:36