By Ala’a Shehabi, Marc Owen Jones
portray an image of a state outlined via oil wealth and deep inequality, Bahrain Uprising offers a voice for the normal citizen, telling the tale of the rebellion and taking readers into the dynamic tradition of road protests that proceed to place strain at the slowly altering monarchy. Bahrain Uprising will be a useful contribution to our realizing not only of Bahrain, yet of the Arab Spring and grass-roots democratic activities in general.
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Extra info for Bahrain’s Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf
Part II: Configuring dissent – charting movements, space, and self-representation in Bahrain Since the twenties, protests and rebellions have become expected features of Bahraini polity, as if they were seasonally ongoing processes. – Fuad Khuri19 bah rain’ s up rising 13 It is important to acknowledge that what has happened in Bahrain since 2011 is not simply as a result of a government inexperienced in dealing with repression - simply a ‘police training’ or a ‘security’ problem. Repression and contentious politics have marred almost every decade of Bahrain’s history throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
The February 14th youth maintain a weekly protest schedule (under the theme of ‘self-determination’) and have also taken up other kinds of civil disobedience. In October thousands of activists participated in a symbolic act of dissent in which they successfully evaded security forces and passed over 15 ‘torches of freedom’ from one embattled village to another. Villagers have also taken to burning tires, turning the country’s sky black when all else has proven impossible. Mostly recently, the organization called for what turned into the most widespread day of protests in months.
It is not ‘monarchical exceptionalism’, the idea that, because GCC regimes are monar chies, they have been resilient to popular challenge. Instead, it is what Steven Heydemann calls the ‘upgrading of authoritarianism’: various circumstances and strategies that have resulted in everexpanding forms of control (colonialism, clientalism, sectarianism, and rentierism) which must exist to preserve Al Khalifa hegemony in light of increasing challenges from below for popular participation and social justice.
Bahrain’s Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf by Ala’a Shehabi, Marc Owen Jones