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Conclusion: Haunted Histories and Decolonial Futures

from Part II - Hegemony and Its Afterlives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2020

Sara Salem
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

The final chapter brings the various threads of the book together and revisits hegemony and its afterlives in Egypt through the concept of haunting. I trace some of the ways in which hegemony and its afterlives fed into the 2011 revolution and ask why it was so important for each ruling class to portray itself as either a rupture or a continuity. Haunting allows me to lay out both how these different projects were formed and how they seeped into one another – in other words, how some projects haunted others. I posit that Nasserism set the terms of the political and economic debate in contemporary Egypt; the projects that came after consistently found that they had to work within these terms – or face serious crises. After discussing the concept of haunting, the chapter explores Nasserism and its promises as well as the afterlives of Nasserism that haunt contemporary Egypt, particularly in relation to economic liberalism. I then turn to the question of mastery and the ways in which Nasserism’s attempt to master the future also haunt us in important ways, and why, to become truly free, we must think about the future in ways that do not centre mastery or mastering. The book ends with Fanon and his call to create a new world – one in which all of us are free and in which decolonization becomes a reality rather than a dream.

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Chapter
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Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt
The Politics of Hegemony
, pp. 256 - 279
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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