Thesis: 'Bending time and breaking structures: Events, spontaneity, and interaction in the 2010/11 Tunisian Uprising'
Directed by social power, agency reproduces structure most of the time. How, then, do we make sense of those rare instances when previously heteronomous actors band together, break free of, and, at times, even transform structural shackles? Drawing on empirical data from the 2010/11 Tunisian Uprising, I argue that such episodes are inexplicable by sole recourse to causal antecedents. Rather, in situations of mass mobilisation, agents appear capable of interactionally producing novel relations, ideas, and subjectivities that are irreducible to anterior conditions. It is this creative dimension of collective agency – or revolutionary Praxis – that is constitutive of historical Events.
Supervisors: John Chalcraft (supervisor) and Nigel Dodd (advisor)