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Palimpsests of civicness: Spontaneity and the Egyptian Uprising/Cairo 2011
AuthorEzzat, Heba Raouf
MetadataShow full item record
CitationEzzat, H. R. (2022). Palimpsests of civicness: Spontaneity and the Egyptian Uprising/Cairo 2011. Journal of Civil Society, 18(2), 239-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/17448689.2022.2125416
More than a decade after the 25th of January 2011 uprising in Egypt most of the research that examined the multifaceted dimension of the uprising focused on the political dynamics of change, addressing issues of contentious politics, constitutional change, local governance, political participation and representation, civil–military relations and counter-revolution. This paper examines the forgotten role of the people who formed the multitude that led to the occupation of Tahrir Square on the 28th of January 2011, and the role of citizens who formed popular committees in their neighbourhood till the 11th of February when Mubarak was ousted. The analysis highlights the significance of spontaneity in the rise of civicness during the 15 days of occupation when the absence of effective sovereignty in spite of the presence of tanks on the streets led to the emergence of forms of collective action that can highlight the complexity of the uprising dynamics. Notions of conviviality and political friendship are introduced to draw a more complex picture of these days, building on previous ethnographic research and political analysis.