Contested Legitimacies
Contested Legitimacies
Repression and Revolt in Post-Revolutionary Egypt
eBook PDF
Number of pages
Publication date
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Also available as
Hardback - € 159,00
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
1 Introduction
History in the Making
Interactionist Approaches and the Arab Uprisings
The Egyptian Revolution as the Result of a Hegemonic Crisis
Political Subjectivation and the Emergence of New Contentious Alliances
Situating this Project

2 Conceptual Choices and Theoretical Framework
Players and Arenas
Contentious Interaction at Critical Junctures
Making Events Transformative
A Discourse Theoretical Perspective on Contentious Politics

3 Brothers and Rebels
The Polarization of Egyptian Society
Rebellion against Mursi
The June 30 Uprising
A Crisis of Legitimacy

4 Coup and Anti-Coup
From Government to Opposition
The Constitution of the Anti-Coup Alliance as a Political Player
Constructing the Antagonist Other
The Republican Guard Massacre
A Popular Mandate for Repression
Setting Course for Violence

5 Myths and Martyrs
The Making of a Massacre
The Rabaa Salute
The Rabaa Martyrs
Backlash to the Rabaa Massacre
Tactical Adaptation
Discursive Path Dependencies

6 New Sheriff in Town
Anti-Coup Resistance from Abroad
Victors’ Justice
The Rehabilitation of the Armed Forces
Shrinking Spaces
A Winning Formula for Popular Support

7 A Tale of Two Islands
Reshaping the Protest Arena
The Limits of Securitization
The Popular Campaign to Protect the Land
Sinai Liberation Day
Turning the Nationalist Discourse Inside Out
Harnessing the Memory of January 25 for Coalition Building

8 Conclusion and Implications
Autocratic Restoration through the Lenses of Contentious Politics
From a Relational to an Interactionist Perspective on Protest and Repression
Conceptualizing the Discursive Arena of Contentious Politics
Prospects for Resistance in Egypt

Appendix: A Mixed-Method Approach to the Study of Contentious Interaction
Combining Protest Event and Discourse Analyses in a Nested Research Design
Event Data and their Limitations
Political Discourse Analysis
Source Selection
Data Collection and Ethical Dilemmas


Reviews and Features

"Contested Legitimacies fully exploits the potentials of mixed-methods designs. Combining event analyses with the richness of qualitative process-tracing and discourse analysis it pushes the boundaries of strategic-interactionist approaches in social movement studies."
- Swen Hutter, Center for Civil Society Research, WZB Berlin

"A rich, profound, and insightful account of Egypt’s post-revolutionary dynamics. Theoretically provoking and empirically well-documented and detailed, this book is indispensable for anyone who seeks lucid and solid understanding of state repression and anti-regime protests in the aftermath of the coup."
- Khalil al-Anani, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies

"Drawbacks notwithstanding, the Arab Spring had a transformative effect on contentious politics as well as on social movement studies. Theoretically original and empirically rich, this book points to the importance of political subjectivities in the move from structural constraints into collective action in post-revolutionary Egypt."
- Donatella della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore

Jannis Julien Grimm

Contested Legitimacies

Repression and Revolt in Post-Revolutionary Egypt

Since the overthrow of President Mursi in mid-2013, Egypt has witnessed an authoritarian rollback and shrinking spaces for civil society. Nationalist discourses have villified popular protest and channelled pressure for reform into a state-centric model of governance. Despite this hostile environment for social mobilization, protest has persisted. Contested Legitimacies explores this resilience of contentious politics through a multimethod approach that is attuned to the physical and discursive interactions among key players in Egypt’s protest arena. Drawing from a unique archive of sources, it investigates the rise and fall of different coalitions of contenders, from the Tamarod uprising against Mursi, to the Anti-Coup resistance against the military coup, to the challenges posed by the Tiran and Sanafir island campaign to Al-Sisi's regime. It highlights the decisive impact of battles fought in a discursive arena on the conditions of possibility for street politics: In postrevolutionary Egypt, a contest over the meaning of political legitimacy cemented political polarization, limited social movements’ coalition choices, and ultimately paved the way for a restoration of autocracy.

Jannis Julien Grimm

Dr. Jannis Julien Grimm heads the research group "Radical Spaces" at the Center for Interdisciplinary Peace Conflict Research at Freie Universität Berlin. For his research on protest-repression dynamics in Egypt, which is at the heart of this book, he received the German Middle East Studies Association’s dissertation award in 2020 and the German Political Science Association’s research award in 2021.