Youth’s Political Subjectivities in Egypt in light of the 2011 Revolution

This paper will ask what is the meaning of the revolution to revolutionary youth? In other words, what political project did young people aim for and imagine with the wake of the revolutionary event? Using the lens of historical time in line with Reinhart Koselleck , the Egyptian revolution will be theorized from youth’s perspective in light of the political project they aimed for and imagined through situating them at this particular historical juncture. It is especially since 2013 and the return of the repressive military regime to power, that scholars have been critical of youth’s political participation and forms of resistance as having failed to come to power or propose an alternative to the old regime. Drawing on the form of organization at Tahrir square and beyond in which the revolution did not have a leader, was non-ideological, and inclusive to men and women, scholars have been critical to the possibility of transformation from revolutionary youth accusing them of their incapability to form a unity strong enough to contest the old political forces. Arguing against that, this paper will debate youth’s political project while problematizing the notion of leaderless and non-ideological forms of organization arguing that youth’s political participation was not non-ideological but rather post-ideological, not imagining change beyond the state. It in light of this that a new youth political subjectivity was formed that imagines and practices change differently from the old mode of doing politics.


Dina El-Sharnouby . Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Society, Depratment of Political Science, Freie Universities Berlin .

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