Bahrain's Uprising

Resistance and Repression in the Gulf

Edited by Ala'a Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones


One of the first dedicated studies of the 2011 uprising, and the first to move the debate beyond its narrow focus on religious sectarianism.

Amid the extensive coverage of the Arab uprisings, the Gulf state of Bahrain has been almost forgotten. Fusing historical and contemporary analysis, Bahrain’s Uprising seeks to fill this gap, examining the ongoing protests and state repression that continues today.

Drawing on powerful testimonies, interviews, and conversations from those involved, this broad collection of writings by scholars and activists provides a rarely heard voice of the lived experience of Bahrainis, describing the way in which a sophisticated society, defined by a historical struggle, continues to hamper the efforts of the ruling elite to rebrand itself as a liberal monarchy.

Author Bio

Alaʾa Shehabi is a Bahraini writer and researcher. She is a co-founder of Bahrain Watch, an NGO that advocates for accountability and social justice in Bahrain. She previously worked as a policy analyst at RAND Corporation and as a lecturer at the Bahraini Institute for Banking and Finance during the 2011 uprising. Various parts of the book were written during a visiting position at Lund University and a fellowship at the Arab Council for Social Sciences.

Marc Owen Jones is a writer researching political repression in Bahrain at Durham University. In addition to teaching Middle East politics, Marc is a member of the advocacy NGO Bahrain Watch and writes a blog on Bahrain. In 2011, he helped to expose fake journalist Liliane Khalil and appeared on Al Jazeera and France 24 to discuss how PR companies are using such figures to spread government propaganda.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: On the Prelude to the 14 February Uprising - Abdulhadi Khalaf
  • Introduction: Bahrain's Uprising, the Struggle for Democracy in the Gulf - Ala'a Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones
  • Part I: Voices of the Condemned
    • 1. A Trial of Thoughts and Ideas - Ibrahim Sharif
    • 2. God After Ten O'Clock - 'Ali Al Jallawi
    • 3. A Room with a Wiew: An Eyewitness to the Pearl Uprising - Tony Mitchell
  • Part II: Configuring Dissent: Charting Movements, Space, and Self-Representation in Bahrain
    • 4. Shifting Contours of Activism and Possibilities for Justice in Bahrain - Luke G.G. Bhatia and Ala'a Shehabi
    • 5. The Many Afterlives of Lulu: The Story of Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout - Amal Khalaf
    • 6. Tn Tn Ttn and Torture in Bahrain: Puncturing the Spectacle of the 'Arab Spring' - John Horne
  • Part III: Suppressing Dissent in an Acceptable Manner: Modes of Repression, Foreign Involvement and Institutional Violence
    • 7. On the Side of Decency and Democracy: The History of British–Bahraini Relations and Transnational Contestation - Zoe Holman
    • 8. Rotten Apples or Rotten Orchards: Police Deviance, Brutality, and Unaccountability in Bahrain - Marc Owen Jones
    • 9. Social Media, Surveillance, and Cyberpolitics in the Bahrain uprising - Marc Owen Jones


'Brings together a powerful group of voices, observers and activists, who have worked not only to make sense of events in Bahrain, but who have also tirelessly advocated for justice in one of the region's most tyrannical states.'
Toby Jones, Rutgers University

'An outstanding volume that fills a chasm in the scholarship on the Arab revolutions and uprisings. Beautifully written, empirically rich, theoretically provocative and meticulously researched. '
Frances S. Hasso, Duke University

'An essential addition to scholarship on the revolts and counter-revolutionary backlashes that have roiled the Arab world since 2011.'
Lisa Hajjar, University of California, Santa Barbara

'In an effort to address a large hole in Arab Spring analysis, Ala’a Shehabi and Marc Jones have assembled an enlightening compilation of essays addressing the popular Bahraini revolts of 2011.'
The Middle East Journal


Publication Date: 15 September 2015
360 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783604333
Hardback: 9781783604340
eBook ePub: 9781783604364
eBook PDF: 9781783604357
eBook Kindle: 9781783604371

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