Simon Mabon
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The regime fights back
in Houses built on sand

The protest movements of early 2011 that eviscerated regime–society relations across the Middle East were a widespread rejection of the political, economic, social and legal status quo. Having had political meaning stripped from their lives and the regulation of this limited form of existence embedded within the fabric of the state, protests were an expression of agency. Contestation was met with a fierce response from the governance mechanisms of the state as regimes attempted to regain control, using a range of draconian and strategies in the process.

In response, regimes sought to reframe the nature of political life and the ban. One such way that this was achieved was through the use of language to frame particular issues as existential threats. Following the work done by Barry Buzan and Ole Waever of the Copenhagen School, securitisation seeks to broaden understandings of security by suggesting that meaning is derived from linguistic framing of issues as threats. Perhaps the most obvious example of securitisation processes concerns the cultivation of divisions within society and the securitisation of sectarian difference in the post-Arab Uprisings context.

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Houses built on sand

Sovereignty, violence and revolution in the Middle East


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