Social Movements in Egypt and Iran
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date: March 2015
The contemporary movements seen on the streets of the Middle East today have their roots in a rich history of social and political struggle in the region. Since the 1990s, large-scale social movements have mobilised millions in opposition to authoritarian regimes often backed by the West. In Egypt, diverse movements opposed the Mubarak regime and its dependence on the US, and have gone on to fight for further transformative change. In Iran, an Islamic reform movement, women’s movement and democracy movement has challenged the undemocratic and exclusivist nature of the Islamic state since the 1990s. This book analyses the reform movement in Iran and the groups and organisations that form the basis of the Egyptian opposition movement in their historical contexts. It argues that the contemporary movements have not arisen out of a vacuum but represent the culmination of over twenty years of mobilisation by social movements. This mobilisation is itself part of a history of struggle for democracy, social justice and freedom in the region that dates back over a century.