In the Name of the People. The Egyptian Left and the Uprising

Whilst scholars of Middle East politics had almost completely neglected the study of Arab Political Parties (with the notable exceptions of Islamist organizations, often outlawed)  arguing that their role was minimal within an authoritarian context, the ‘Arab Uprisings’ –which started in late 2010- seem to have brought the role of political parties back at the attention of international academia. This paper looks at the role of the ‘Egyptian Left’ both before and after the recent ‘Springs’. I will be presenting a general discussion of the situation of the main parties and movements of the Left in Egypt on the eve of the 25 January Revolution and then I will focus especially on the role played by both old and new Left  in the ‘eighteen days’ of Tahir Square and after. Based on my in Egypt , and on the analysis of documents and secondary literature looked through the lens of (modified) social movements theory, this paper aims at highlighting continuities and breaks in the thought and political action of the Egyptian leftist parties before and after the Uprising, and suggests that the Uprisings have offered the Left an unmissable chance to overcome the ‘traditional’ gap between ‘revolutionary rhetoric excellence’ and the its absence amongst the Arab masses. In doing so, I will devote special attention to the trajectory of Hizb al-Tahaluf al-Ishtiraki (Socialist Alliance Party), which was founded in the aftermath of the ‘Revolution’, bringing together older and younger generations of activists.


Gennaro Gervasio . Roma Tre University, Italy .

This entry was posted in Paper and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.