Subalterns and Social Protest : History from Below in the Middle East and North Africa book cover
1st Edition

Subalterns and Social Protest
History from Below in the Middle East and North Africa

Edited By

Stephanie Cronin

ISBN 9780415665827
Published January 30, 2012 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

The articles in this collection provide an alternative view of Middle Eastern history by focusing on the oppressed and the excluded, offering a challenge to the usual elite narratives. The collection is unique in its historical depth - ranging from the medieval period to the present - and its geographical reach, including Iran, the Ottoman Empire/Turkey, the Balkans, the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

The first to focus on the oppressed and the excluded, and their differing strategies of survival, of negotiation, and of protest and resistance, the book covers:

    • both major social classes and sectors
    • the working class
    • the peasantry
    • the urban poor
    • women
    • marginal groups such as gypsies and slaves

Based on perspectives drawn from the work of the great European social historians, and particularly inspired by Antonio Gramsci, the collection seeks to restore a sense of historical agency to subaltern classes in the region, and to uncover ‘the politics of the people’.

Table of Contents

Introduction Stephanie Cronin  Part 1: The Urban Crowd and Popular Protest  1. Street Violence and Social Imagination in Late Mamluk and Ottoman Damascus James Grehan  2. Women and Popular Protest: Women’s Demonstrations in Nineteenth Century Iran Vanessa Martin  Part 2: Poor People’s Politics  3. Popular Protest, the Market and the State in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Egypt John Chalcraft  4. Workless Revolutionaries: The Movement of the Unemployed in Post-Revolutionary Iran Asef Bayat  5. Transforming the City from Below: Shanty-Town Dwellers and the Fight for Electricity in Casablanca Lamia Zaki  Part 3: Peasants and Nomads  6. Resisting the New State: The Rural Poor, Land and Modernity in Iran, 1921-1941 Stephanie Cronin  Part 4: Marginals and Outcasts  7. Exploring the Margins of Ottoman Society: "Disorderly" Gypsies" Failk Celik  8. Emancipated Female Slaves in Algiers: Marriage, Property and Social Advancement in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Fatiha Loualich  Part 5: European Subalterns  9. "Making It" in Pre-Colonial Tunis: Migration, Work and Poverty in a Mediterranean Port-City, c. 1815-1870 Julia Clancy-Smith  10. Foreign Workers in Egypt 1882-1914: Subalterns or Labour Aristocracy? Antony Gorman  Part 6: Subalterns and National Movements  11. From National Heroes to National Villains: Bandits and the Formation of Modern Greece Gerassimos Karabelias  12. Seizing the Initiative, Regaining a Voice: The Al-Aqsa Intifada as a Strategy of the Marginalized Roger Heacock 

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Stephanie Cronin is Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow at the University of Northampton. Her most recent book is Tribal Politics in Iran: Rural Conflict and the New State, 1921–1941, also published by Routledge.


'As an exploratory attempt to bring the methods and concerns of "History from below" to the region, the book is a clear success' - R.S.G. Fletcher, Asian Affairs, 2008

' In terms of historical span, extending from the 16th century to the present, and its geographical diversity, the collection is a unique contribution to the effort of recovering the subaltern margins of society' - Nazan Maksudyan, International Journal of Middle East Studies. 42 (2010)