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“Workers Movements and the Arab Popular Uprisings of 2011”
September 12, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
A talk by Joel Beinin, Stanford University
Arab workers, especially in Egypt and Tunisia, participated prominently in the
popular uprisings of 2011. They were motivated by declining standards of living and loss of job security in the decades preceding the uprisings. In Tunisia, the mid-level leaders of the national trade union federation (the UGTT) and rank and file workers were critical participants in the movement that ousted president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. While there was a substantial movement of labor protest in Egypt before the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak, it was not organizationally consolidated. Consequently, the Tunisian labor movement has been a major factor in Tunisia’s problematic and partial democratic transition, while Egypt’s independent labor movement has been crushed by the praetorian dictatorship of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Joel Beinin is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Emeritus at Stanford University. He received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1970, M.A. from Harvard University in 1974, and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1982 before going to Stanford in 1983. From 2006 to 2008 he served as Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. In 2002 he served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America.