Dina El-Sharnouby: "From State Exclusionary Politics to Youth Inclusionary Practices: The Tahrir Square Experience"
In the four years since the uprising of January 25, 2011, Egypt has undergone many changes—but exactly what kind of changes? Although January 25, 2011, is marked as the beginning of a revolution, its precise meaning remains unclear regarding how to analyze its outcomes related to transformative social change. When focusing on institutions, revolutionary changes are indeed largely invisible four years later in that they have not fundamentally transformed to ease Egyptians’ daily practices and living conditions. Instead of just looking at institutional changes, the revolution sparked a temporary opening to the general Egyptian public, and youth especially, during the 18 days until the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. This opening, I argue, has affected youth activism that focuses on unity and inclusion in response to many years of exclusionary state politics. This article analyzes the discourse on Egyptian youth from the state’s perspective since Egypt’s independence, highlighting the escalating exclusionary practices over the years due to sociopolitical and economic strategies. Using Tahrir Square as a focus for understanding the dynamics of youth activism, I argue that although this temporary opening was marked by inclusionary youth activism, it did not overcome those mental structures in their imagination for change as a more cohesive and inclusionary society.
El-Sharnouby. 2015. "From State Exclusionary Politics to Youth Inclusionary Practices: The Tahrir Square Experience", International Journal of Sociology 45(3): 176-189.