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Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 12:00pm
Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

By Dr. Joel Beinin                  
Stanford University

Second Floor Gallery,
Urban Center Building
Portland State University

Portland, OR 97201
506 SW Mill Street
Second Floor Gallery


Free and Open to the Public!

Synopsis

Since the 1990s, the Middle East has experienced an upsurge of wildcat strikes, sit-ins, and workers' demonstrations. Well before people gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, workers had formed one of the largest opposition movements to authoritarian rule in Egypt. In Tunisia, years prior to the 2011 Arab uprisings, the unemployed chanted in protest, "A job is a right, you pack of thieves!" Despite this history, most observers have failed to acknowledge the importance of workers in the social ferment preceding the removal of Egyptian and Tunisian autocrats and in the political realignments after their demise. In Workers and Thieves, Joel Beinin corrects this by surveying the efforts and impacts of the workers' movements in Egypt and Tunisia since the 1970s. Workers and Theives argues that the 2011 uprisings in these countries—and, importantly, their vastly different outcomes—are best understood within the context of these repeated mobilizations of workers and the unemployed over recent decades.

Biography

Dr. Joel Beinin is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History at Stanford University. He received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1970, his M.A. from Harvard University in 1974, and his A.M.L.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1978 and 1982. He also studied at the American University of Cairo and and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2002 he served as President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. From 2006 to 2008 he served as Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. His research and writing focuses on workers, peasants, and minorities in the modern Middle East and on Israel, Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Beinin has written or edited ten books, most recently Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa; co-edited with Frédéric Vairel and The Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt. His articles have been published in leading scholarly journals as well as The Nation, Middle East Report, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Le Monde Diplomatique, and others. He has appeared on Al-Jazeera TV, BBC radio, National Public Radio, and many other TV and radio programs throughout North America, and in France, Egypt, Singapore, and Australia, and has given frequent interviews to the global media.

Sponsorship

Center for Turkish Studies and Middle East Studies Center of Portland State University.