Opportunity without organization: Labor mobilization in Egypt after the 25th January revolution

Christopher Barrie*, Neil Ketchley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prevailing understandings of labor protest and strikes take as their focus stable democratic settings where autonomous trade union structures are an established component of the organizational resources available to workers. We extend the analysis of labor mobilization to a radically different context: Egypt in the year of the January 25th Revolution, when workers mobilized en masse in the absence of union leadership. For this, we use a catalogue of 4,912 protest events reported in Arabic-language newspapers. Our findings point to the importance of cross-sectoral demonstration effects in contexts of political disorganization-local and national mobilization advancing both labor and nonlabor demands inspired subsequent labor protest. This speaks to the value of understanding labor protest and strikes not as delimited domains of action but as parts of a wider universe of contentious politics. In addition, statelevel signals of opportunity and shifts in economic conditions are also found to pattern the incidence of labor mobilization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-202
Number of pages22
JournalMobilization
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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