This book offers a much-needed corrective to dominant approaches to understanding political causality during episodes of intense social mobilisation, specifically with a North African context. Drawing on analyses of routine governance and of 'revolutionary' mobilisation in four countries of the Maghreb -- Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya -- before, during and after the 2011 uprisings, Volpi explains the different trajectories of these uprisings by showing how specific acts of protest created new arenas of contention that provided actors with new rationales, practices and, ultimately, identities. The book illustrates how the dynamics of revolutionary episodes are characterised by the social and political de-institutionalisation of routine mechanisms of (authoritarian) governance. It also details how post-uprising re-institutionalisation and/or conflict are shaped by reconstructed understandings of the uprisings by actors, who are themselves partially the products of these episodes of phenomena.
Frederic Volpi is Senior Lecturer in International Politics in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Political Islam Observed, and has written for the Journal of Democracy, the Middle East Journal, Democratization, and International Studies Review, among others.