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  • Sara Salem, London School of Economics and Political Science
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Book description

This study presents an alternative story of the 2011 Egyptian revolution by revisiting Egypt's moment of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century. Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt explores the country's first postcolonial project, arguing that the enduring afterlives of anticolonial politics, connected to questions of nationalism, military rule, capitalist development and violence, are central to understanding political events in Egypt today. Through an imagined conversation between Antonio Gramsci and Frantz Fanon, two foundational theorists of anti-capitalism and anticolonialism, Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt focuses on issues of resistance, revolution, mastery and liberation to show how the Nasserist project, created by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the Free Officers in 1952, remains the only instance of hegemony in modern Egyptian history. In suggesting that Nasserism was made possible through local, regional and global anticolonial politics, even as it reproduced colonial ways of governing that continue to reverberate into Egypt's present, this interdisciplinary study thinks through questions of traveling theory, global politics, and resistance and revolution in the postcolonial world.


'This important and elegant book contributes a significant reading of post-independence Egyptian political history in terms of the rise and fall of Nasserist hegemony. It stands out for its engagement with Gramsci and Fanon, and for its subtle excavation of the multifarious combinations of coercion and consent at work in the making and attrition of hegemony, and the hauntings that accompany hegemony’s after-lives.'

John Chalcraft - London School of Economics

'A brilliant exploration of decolonization that places the Egyptian revolutions of 1952 and 2011 within a single trajectory. Skillfully weaving together Marxism and postcolonial theory, Salem charts the vicissitudes of hegemony in Egypt while offering remarkable insights into the nature of capitalism, elite formation, and the temporality of revolutionary transformations.'

Omnia El Shakry - University of California, Davis

'In weaving postcolonial critique with Marxist theory and vice versa, Salem vividly patterns anti-colonial struggle in its neo-liberal afterlives. This book provides a masterclass in expansive theorizing and substantive inquiry.'

Robbie Shilliam - Johns Hopkins University

‘Theoretically grounded in the works of Antonio Gramsci and Franz Fanon, Salem’s Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt argues that the Nasserist ruling class was the only hegemony in modern Egyptian history.’

M. L. Russell Source: Choice

‘… Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt is a valuable addition and excellent resource for anyone studying and teaching, or generally interested in, hegemony, postcolonialism, Marxism as well as decolonisation in Egypt and in the postcolony in general.’

Haythem Guesmi Source: LSE Review

‘Sara Salem’s book makes a highly significant contribution to Marxist and postcolonial theories in politics and international relations … [of] value to scholars of the postcolonial state and its distinct articulation in the context of the Middle East. It not only succeeds in challenging conventional approaches to the region but also makes an invaluable contribution to scholars interested in the intersection of the ideational and the material in international politics.’

Vivienne Jabri Source: Perspectives on Politics

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