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Benoit Challand – Violence and Representation in the Arab Uprisings
May 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm | Humanities 1, Room 520
This event is sponsored by the THI Research Cluster Vernaculars of Travel in South Asia and the Middle East and Center for the Middle East and North Africa (CMENA) and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology
Providing a longue durée perspective on the Arab uprisings of 2011, Benoît Challand narrates the transformation of citizenship in the Arab Middle East, from a condition of latent citizenship in the colonial and post-independence era to the revolutionary dynamics that stimulated democratic participation in the region in 2011. Considering the parallel histories of citizenship and marginalization in Yemen and Tunisia, Challand develops innovative theories of violence and representation. He argues that a new collective imaginary, or the collective force of the people, emerged as a force, representing itself as the sovereign power that could decide when violence ought to be used to protect all citizens from corrupt power. Shedding light upon uprisings in Yemen, Tunisia, but also elsewhere in the Middle East, this book offers deeper insights into conceptions of violence, representation, and democracy. It compares the post-2011 efforts to build a decentralized political order in Tunisia with the calls for federalism in Yemen, and the shared demands for democratic accountability over the means of coercion.
Benoit Challand is Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research, New York. He is author of the books Violence and Representation in the Arab Uprisings (Cambridge University Press, 2023), and Palestinian Civil Society: Foreign Donors and the Power to Promote and Exclude (Routledge, 2009). His work has been translated into Arabic and he has numerous co-authored publications such as The Arab Uprisings and Foreign Assistance (co-edited with F. Bicchi and S. Heydemann, Routledge 2016), and Imagining Europe: Myth, Memory and Identity, co-authored with Chiara Bottici (Cambridge University Press 2013). He is also interested in democratic theory, Western European Marxism, and settler colonialism.