Crisis, Resistance, and Prospects: The Arab Revolutions and Beyond


The “Crisis, Resistance, and Prospects: The Arab Revolutions and Beyond” conference is being planned as a three-day event scheduled to take place at York University (4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 2013.

The objective of this conference is to provide a critical intervention that seeks to challenge the dominant neo-liberal interpretation of the Arab Spring and the concomitant reductionist tendency to explain this transformative process as one resulting from liberal democratic triumphalism, social media, and youth movements.  Rather, this conference is designed to introduce a dialogue that highlights the multifaceted, complex, and contradictory dimensions of the significant historical transformation and social struggle that is ongoing in the Middle East and North Africa.  The introduction of this dialogue will be achieved through providing an exploration and analysis of the following themes: Democracies, Social Movements, and Political Power; New Media and Cultures of Resistance; The Social Question; Capital, State, and Internationalization; and Imperialism & Anti-Imperialism.

Interested participants are invited to submit conference paper proposals that engage topics such as the following:

  • “Humanitarian Intervention” in Libya; tolerated suppression in Bahrain and Yemen; and Western-supported civil war incitement and escalation of violence in Syria
  • Foreign Intervention in Syria and its implications:
  • Urban Geopolitics & the Militarization of City Spaces, e.g. Aleppo, Benghazi, Cairo, Manama
  • Dictatorships Without Dictators?
  • Privatization of State Violence: private security firms & mercenaries?
  • GCC: Gulf monarchies & and the potential intensification of the crisis
  • Antiwar and Anti-Imperialist struggles
  • Democratic Carrots and Economic Sticks: debt, fiscal discipline, and international investment
  • Tahrir Square Everywhere: globalization of the Arab revolutions
  • What Type of Democracy: liberal-, basis-, grassroots-, participatory-, socialist?
  • Crisis of Which Left or Crisis as Opportunity for the Left?
  • New Forms of Political and Social Participation, Organization, and Representation: women, the unemployed, and the urban poor
  • The New Patriarchy: the emergence of conservative political forces and the question of gender equality
  • Turkish, Iranian, and/or Israeli Influence and the Arab Revolutions
  • The Role of Social Networks and New Media in the Arab Revolutions
  • Popular Culture/Resistance
  • Foreign Media Coverage of the Arab Revolutions
  • The Social Question: the role of peasants, workers, social categories, and middle classes in the Arab Revolutions
  • Displacements: refugees and migrations
  • Environmental Justice Issues
  • Back to the Future: primitive economic/political accumulation
Steps to Join the Conference
1. January 21, 2013 Abstract Submissions Due
2. Februrary 21, 2013 Submission of Final Papers/Presentations

Click Here to Submit an Abstract to Join the Conference

All abstracts should be no longer than 250 words.  Please indicate with the submission of your abstract if you will require multi-media support and/or technical services.  Final presentations should be submitted using Times New Roman, 12-point font in PDF form.  Each participant will be given approximately 15 minutes to present.

Select conference papers will be included in an edited book planned to be published following the conference proceedings.  Financial assistance for travel and accommodations will be provided as per available funding.  If you would like to participate but are not able to physically attend, arrangements can be made to participate via SKYPE.

For more information, please contact the conference planning committee at

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