The Arab Spring

The End of Postcolonialism

Hamid Dabashi


In this landmark book, Hamid Dabashi argues that the revolutionary uprisings from Morocco to Iran and from Syria to Yemen were driven by a 'delayed defiance' - a point of rebellion against domestic tyranny and globalized disempowerment alike - that signifies no less than the end of Postcolonialism.
This pioneering explanation of the Arab Spring will define a new era of thinking about the Middle East.

In this landmark book, Hamid Dabashi argues that the revolutionary uprisings that have engulfed multiple countries and political climes from Morocco to Iran and from Syria to Yemen, were driven by a 'Delayed Defiance' - a point of rebellion against domestic tyranny and globalized disempowerment alike - that signifies no less than the end of Postcolonialism. Sketching a new geography of liberation, Dabashi shows how the Arab Spring has altered the geopolitics of the region so radically that we must begin re-imagining the 'the Middle East'.

Ultimately, the 'permanent revolutionary mood' Dabashi brilliantly explains has the potential to liberate not only those societies already ignited, but many others through a universal geopolitics of hope.

Author Bio

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Born in Iran, he received a dual PhD in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. An internationally renowned cultural critic, his writings have been translated into numerous languages.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Arab Spring: The End of Postcoloniality
  • 1. Decentering the World: How the Arab Spring Unfolded
  • 2. Towards Liberation Geography
  • 3. A New Language of Revolt
  • 4. Discovering a New World
  • 5. From the Green Movement to the Jasmine Revolutions
  • 6. The center cannot hold
  • 7. The End of Postcolonialism
  • 8. Race, Gender, and Class in Transnational Revolutions
  • 9. Libya: The Crucible
  • 10. Delayed Defiance
  • Conclusion. The People Demand the Overthrow of the Regime


‘Dabashi provides a revolutionary, imaginative and open-ended reading of what will turn out to be a founding moment of the twenty-first century.’
Fawwaz Traboulsi, author of A History of Modern Lebanon

‘This illuminating and beautifully written book, by a brave intellectual and a brilliant scholar who knows the terrain like the back of his hand, traces the genealogy of this unique moment and offers a bird’s eye view of the horizons it promises.’
Sinan Antoon, poet and novelist

‘A refreshing, thoughtful and historical reading of the dramatic changes sweeping the Arab world.’
Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst, Al Jazeera

‘The Arab Spring is enormously enlightening and original, a landmark work of a political and historical convulsion of immense proportion and significance. The book is so rich, careful and systematic in making its case that I expect it to define a new paradigm regarding the nature of revolution itself.’
Alamin Mazrui, Rutgers University

‘Embracing the poetic justice of the Arab Spring, Hamid Dabashi seizes upon and expresses the lyrical. He recounts philosophically an open-ended non-linear story, which is still in the making.’
Elia Suleiman, filmmaker

‘The depth and richness of Dabashi’s perspective contrasts with the barrenness of the modernization paradigm dominant in the West’s academy and media as much as in liberal, nationalist and socialist Arab accounts. It offers a fresh look at some deeper resources of Arab societies and cultures.’
Haifa Zangana, writer and activist

'No one is better place to examine these crucial questions than Hamid Dabashi. Acclaimed scholar, critic and cultural observer, Dabashi has an intimate knowledge of the region, its geopolitics, history and societies, and the interpretive power to see clearly into the face of the revolution.'
Dr Michael Sosteric, The Socjournal

'This book is an important contribution to our understanding of the Arab Spring. It deserves to be warmly welcomed and widely read.'
Jack Farmer, Socialist Review

'It is believed that the difference between a pundit and an expert is that the former observes the horizons from the seat of a plane at 40,000 feet while the latter surveys the same ground from a low flying helicopter. Dabashi is that rare hybrid of a pundit and and an expert who deftly and seamlessly transitions between vividly detailed vignettes of the events on the ground and broad vistas of global, historical trends. Get ready for a smooth and breath-taking flight!'
Mahmoud Sadri, Texas Woman's University and the Federation of North Texas Area Universities


Publication Date: 10 May 2012
296 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780322230
Hardback: 9781780322247
eBook ePub: 9781780322261
eBook PDF: 9781780322254
eBook Kindle: 9781780322278

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