"The Political Economy of Revolution: Karl Polanyi in Tahrir Square" by Hany Zayed

PhD Candidate Hany Zayed.

PhD candidate Hany Zayed was recently published in the journal Theory, Culture, and Society. Abstract:

"The causes and consequences of revolutionary change have long been the subject of scholarly debate. Through a systematic integration of political economic elements into an analysis of contemporary social transformations, this article joins this conversation by asking how Karl Polanyi’s double movement framework can clarify, and be extended by, the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. By embedding a nuanced account of neoliberalism in Egypt’s modern politics and by bringing those in dialogue with Polanyi’s theoretical apparatus, this article contends that there is a broad alignment between the first movement and the Egyptian neoliberal experience, a partial alignment between the second movement and the Egyptian Revolution, and a multilayered entanglement that implicates and encircles both movements. Not only does this research demonstrate that contemporary Egyptian history can find new currency in and be further illuminated by Polanyi’s political economy, it also critiques, complicates, reconceptualizes and extends Polanyi’s theoretical framework. In so doing, it redresses the underfocus of Polanyian political economy on the theory of revolution in general and the Egyptian Revolution in particular, problematizes extant accounts on neoliberalism and the double movement, and extends analyses between neoliberalism and revolution in political economy literatures. By clarifying our understanding of contemporary social change, this essay underscores how Polanyi’s work remains a pertinent, viable and valuable prism to examine momentous social transformations."

For the full article and journal details, click here.

 

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