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Title: Contentious politics and the making of Egyptian public spaces
Author: El-Kouedi, Mona
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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My research project is on the political contestations over the making of Egyptian public spaces. It aims at understanding the process through which political actors define and re-define public spaces, particularly in contentious moments, and how public spaces constitute political identities and influence their political choices. Through making use of the Egyptian case study, I identified three different patterns of constituting public spaces: monopolisation, marketisation and securitisation. In my research, I will illustrate these three patterns while highlighting their spatial manifestations in particular episodes of contention. I will investigate the process through which the Egyptian ruling regime and other oppositional groups constitute, contest, define and re-define public spaces during episodes of contention in order to legitimise their political claims. The research answers the questions: How are public spaces constituted, defined and re-defined in contentious events? How and when do they become contested sites between the ruling regime (al nizarri) and various opposition groups? How could these different opposition groups manage to mobilise public spaces, altering them from spaces of everyday life, into sites of political activism? How are public spaces implicated in constituting political subjectivities? How do discourses in the public sphere impact on the constitution of public spaces as contested locations? In my thesis, I aim at developing a new approach to understand the notion of the public space. Instead of searching for a new overarching definition of the public space, I stress that it is more important to investigate the process through which public spaces are constituted, negotiated and contested. In doing so, my research challenges dominant definitions that take the notion of the public space for granted and defines it as the space that is open and accessible to everyone. I argue that political actors engage in a process of defining.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available