LIVE-AR seminar series 2023/2024

« Activists Pathways and political crises » seminars

During the 2010s, Arab societies witnessed popular uprisings on an unprecedented scale. These movements succeeded in bringing together people from all walks of life:long-standing activists and first-time protesters, from wealthy and precarious communities, students and workers, young and old… women and men who were previously ‘voiceless’ (Spivak, 2003) and who then became revolutionaries. Often described as apolitical, they all marched with hope of a profound change. However, a decade later, a strong sense of disillusionment has set in across the region. Wars, failed political transitions and authoritarian takeovers seem to have buried the revolutionary projects. The ERC LIVE-AR studies the ‘afterlives’ (Filleule et al., 2018; Ross, 2005) of these revolutionaries in four countries of the region: Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. While some of them continue to defend the revolutionary cause, investing themselves in new areas of commitment, others have abandoned all forms of activism to concentrate on other spheres of their lives (professional, educational, emotional, etc.). The medium- and long-term consequences of their participation in the uprisings remain an open question.

Relying on the comparative work already initiated as part of the project, the LIVE-AR team wishes to extend the debate to other geographical areas, historical timeframes and survey methods. In this context, the “Activists’ pathways and political crises” seminar series aims to provide a forum for monthly exchanges on how political crisis – whether revolutionary situations, civil wars or post-conflict situations – shape biographical trajectories and activist careers. Building on a growing scholarship that focuses on the microsociological level and on the ‘biographical consequences of commitment’ (McAdam, 1989; Giugni, 2013; Giugni and Grasso, 2016; Pagis, 2014; Fillieule et al, 2018; Passy and Monsch, 2019), we will be bringing together various disciplinary approaches (history, anthropology, sociology,political psychology and political science) and invite researchers working on different countries (Northern Ireland, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, etc.) and political contexts. The aim is to establish a dialogue between diverse approaches to biographical trajectories, through the prism of gender studies, the political sociology of emotions, the processes of commitment and disengagement, and the reconfiguration of relations to politics. Particular attention will also be paid to methodological issues, both in terms of data collection and methods of analysis.

next seminars

11/06/2024 : Amany Mohamed Hamed Moussa (Bergen University), « Activism Across Time and Place: A Study of Syrian Activists’ Trajectories in Berlin and Oslo », via Zoom, from 2pm to 4pm (Paris time). In English.

Past seminars