The political aesthetics of global protest: The Arab spring and beyond

Pnina Werbner, Martin Webb, Kathryn Spellman-Poots

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


From Egypt to India, and from Botswana to London, worker, youth and middle class rebellions have taken on the political and bureaucratic status quo and the privilege of small, wealthy and often corrupt elites at a time when the majority can no longer earn a decent wage. A remarkable feature of the protests from the Arab Spring onwards has been the salience of images, songs, videos, humour, satire and dramatic performances. This book explores the central role the aesthetic played in energising the mass mobilisations of young people, the disaffected, the middle classes, the apolitical silent majority, as well as enabling solidarities and alliances among democrats, workers, trade unions, civil rights activists and opposition parties. Comparing the North African and Middle Eastern uprisings with protest movements such as Occupy, the authors bring to bear an anthropological and sociological approach from a variety of perspectives, illuminating the debate by drawing on a wide array of disciplinary expertise.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages410
ISBN (Electronic)9780748693504
ISBN (Print)9780748693351
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


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