Before the 2011 uprisings, the Middle East and North Africa were frequently seen as a uniquely undemocratic region with little civic activism. The first edition of this volume, published at the start of the Arab Spring, challenged these views by revealing a region rich with social and political mobilizations. This fully revised second edition extends the earlier explorations of Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and adds new case studies on the uprisings in Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen.
The case studies are inspired by social movement theory, but they also critique and expand the horizons of the theory’s classical concepts of political opportunity structures, collective action frames, mobilization structures, and repertoires of contention based on intensive fieldwork. This strong empirical base allows for a nuanced understanding of contexts, culturally conditioned rationality, the strengths and weaknesses of local networks, and innovation in contentious action to give the reader a substantive understanding of events in the Arab world before and since 2011.