Similar Roots and Diverging Outcomes: Uprising and Revolution in Iran and Egypt

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: 419
Oral Presentation
Vali MANSOURI , George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Recent uprisings in the Middle East have increasingly been characterized by spontaneous mobilization, decentralization, and the lack of dominating charismatic leadership. This research will demonstrate the salience of Horizontalism in comparing and contrasting the Iranian Green Movement of 2009 with the Egyptian Revolution that started in 2011 through the use of Ideal types. Attention is devoted to assessing the strengths and added resilience of these decentralized movements against their Authoritarian states. Analysis through identification of different processes leading to variations on success, stalemate and repression, this will build on previous studies of revolutions to better understand contemporary social and political change.

The Green Movement, despite months of sustained mass protest and delegitimizing the government, solicited little to no concessions or change from the state; while the Egyptian Revolution within only 18 days was able to topple the head of state, ushering in a struggle for the future polity between shifting alliances and elements of the old regime. Identifying key political institutional arrangements illuminates potential vulnerability or resilience to uprising. Construction of state is key, in the case of Iran, the state is characterized by coordination and diffusion of centers of power in institutions such as the Supreme Leader, the government and Revolutionary Guards, combined with limited but competitive elections allow for flexibility, making for added resilient state. On the other hand Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) of Egypt was more closely characterized by Patrimonial bureaucratic rule, which led to competition and conflicts in interest between NDP members and affiliates who rose since the Infitah and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). By looking at these social uprisings and the changing states will help to explain the current divergent and potential directions of these two movements and their future.