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Bahrain: Strategies of Mobilisation and Domination

The protests that started in the island Kingdom of Bahrain in February 2011 continue on an almost daily basis. At the same time, the regime has found ways of containing the protests, particularly through spatial control and the repressive tactics of the security forces. By dividing the island between areas where a revolutionary atmosphere is re-enacted and areas of the capital and gated residential neighbourhoods, where the protests are out of sight and out of mind, Bahrain has become a deeply polarised country. Dr Toby Matthiesen will explore how the strategies of domination and mobilisation mastered by the regime and the opposition have led to radically different experiences of daily life in Bahrain, and to almost diametrically opposed views as to how the future of the country should look like. Neither the regime nor the opposition are strong enough to win outright, and the stalemate that has continued for years and is set to continue for the foreseeable future is further entrenching social, political and religious divisions that were less prevalent before 2011.

Event Details

Speaker: Dr Toby Matthiesen, University of Cambridge
Chair: Professor Toby Dodge, LSE
Date:  Wednesday 14 May 2014
Time: 18.30-20.00
Location:  Room 9.04, Tower 2, Clement's Inn, LSE
Attendance: This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis. Our events are very well attended, please make sure to arrive early. We cannot guarantee entry



Dr Toby Matthiesen is a Research Fellow in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Pembroke College and is associated with the Department of Politics and International Studies and the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Cambridge. In 2013, he was also a Research Fellow at the LSE Kuwait Programme. His book, Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn’t, was published by Stanford University Press in summer 2013 and examines how the Gulf states responded to protests at home and in the wider Arab world. From 2007 to 2011 he worked on his doctorate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, writing a thesis on the politicization of Saudi Arabia’s Shiite community.