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Title: Leadership in the national movements of Egypt and Iraq 1945-1963
Author: Alexander, Rachel Anne.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines leadership in the national movements of Egypt and Iraq between 1945 and 1963, analysing the rise of the mass movements opposing the Egyptian and Iraqi monarchies and their relationship to the postrevolutionary military regimes. It uses Eyerman and Jamison's concept of "movement intellectuals" to explore the relationship between movement activists and participants, arguing that the national movements sustained diverse leadership models: democratic, bureaucratic and exclusivist. The cycle of protest which began in 1945 marked a new phase in the development of the national movements. Activists from working-class, peasant and lower middleclass backgrounds played a more prominent role than previously. Radical ideologies of national leadership - Communist, Islamist and nationalist - grew at the expense of liberal nationalist ideas. A distinctive activist culture developed, centred on street protests and influenced by militant trade unionism and, in Egypt, by the outbreak of guerrilla warfare against British troops. In both Egypt and Iraq the monarchies were overthrown by small groups of dissident army officers. Some had been members of movement organisations, but were isolated from the movement's distinctive activist culture and had little experience of more democratic forms of movement organisation. Within their own organisations they adopted an exclusivist model of leadership, seeing their role as that of leading by heroic example. The Free Officers' capture of state power led to the emergence of a new ideology of leadership which portrayed the "sole leader" as the expression of popular will. The state appropriated the pre-revolutionary movement: government-sponsored events mimicked the street protests against the old regimes and movement organisations were subject to increasing levels of state intervention. Some movement organisations promoted the ideology of the sole leader, and thereby facilitated their own appropriation by the state. The consolidation of this ideology, by reducing the space for activism outside the state, led to the decay of the national movement and, by the early 1960s, the closing of the cycle of protest which had opened in 1945. 2
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available