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Mamdani, Mahmood. An African Reflection on Tahrir Square
2011, Globalizations, 8(5), pp. 559–566.
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Abstract:

This essay understands the significance of Tahrir Square as a radical shift both n the way of doing politics, from armed struggle to popular struggle, and in the definition of political identity, from religious to territorial. It seeks to understand the historical significance of the shift by placing it in the context of technologies of colonial rule (both the Ottoman millet system and British indirect rule) and post-colonial attempts to rethink and reform this mode of rule. The result is a historical reflection that begins with Steve Biko and the Soweto Uprising in 1976, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha and John Garang in post-colonial Sudan, and closes with Sayyid Qutb and the significance of Tahrir Square.

Comment: This text provides an alternative understanding of the events at Tahrir Square and a way of 'doing politics' that is beyond the western norm. By locating the events of Tahrir Square within the vein of politics started by the Soweto Uprising in South Africa in 1976, the author provides a novel way through which to understand popular uprisings. This text can be used to historicise more recent historicise uprisings, in a course on political history and decolonising

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