The book answers the question of why and how thousands of Egyptian citizens suddenly took to the streets against the Mubarak regime in January 2011, when for years prior to the Arab Spring, opposition activists in Egypt organized protests with limited success.
Contesting the Repressive State also addresses why and how people who are not part of political movements choose to engage or not engage in anti-government protest under repressive regimes.
Jumet argues that individuals are rational actors and their decisions to protest or not protest are based on the intersection of three factors: political opportunity structures, mobilizing structures, and framing processes.
Based on 170 interviews conducted in Egypt during the Arab Spring, Jumet explores how social media, violent government repression, changes in political opportunities, and the military influenced individual decisions to protest or not protest during the 2011 Revolution, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces transitional period, and the June 2013 uprising.
Edward “Ned” Walker ’62, the Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Global Political Theory Emeritus and former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Israel and the U.A.E., said the book “is a fascinating review of events that confounded many experts, including [Walker’s] colleagues in the State Department.”
Tarek Masoud, Harvard University’s Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, said “Jumet combines a sophisticated understanding of social movement theory with the kind of fingertip feel for Egypt and its people that can only come from years of in-depth fieldwork.”