The Fred Halliday Memorial Event: the Arab Uprisings and the future of revolution

Hosted by the Department of International Relations

CLM.6.02, Clement House


Professor Salwa Ismail

Professor Salwa Ismail

Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East, SOAS

Dr George Lawson

Dr George Lawson

Associate Professor of International Relations, LSE


Dame Minouche Shafik

Dame Minouche Shafik

Director of LSE

For this year's Fred Halliday Memorial Event, the speakers will explore the shifting character of revolution through the prism of the 2011 Arab Uprisings.

We are living in a new age of revolution. Revolutions are everywhere: on the streets of Kobane, Caracas, and Tehran, in the rhetoric of groups like Podemos and Black Lives Matter, and in the imaginaries of popular culture, from Star Wars to Hamilton. Yet contemporary revolutions often appear more as minor disturbances than as projects of deep confrontation and systemic transformation – ‘small r’ revolutions next to the ‘big R’ Revolutions associated with France, Russia, China, and other major uprisings.

Eight years on from the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere, what can be said about how these uprisings came about, how they were novel, and what balance-sheet can be drawn up of their successes and failures? Most importantly, what do they tell us about the current – and future – place of revolution in world politics?

Professor Salwa Ismail is Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East at SOAS. Her latest book is The Rule of Violence: Subjectivity, Memory and Government in Syria (Cambridge, 2018). 

Dr George Lawson is an Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE. His latest books are Anatomies of Revolution (Cambridge, 2019); Global Historical Sociology, edited with Julian Go (Cambridge, 2017); The Global Transformation, with Barry Buzan (Cambridge, 2015).

Dame Minouche Shafik is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) is now in its 91st year, making it one of the oldest as well as largest in the world.  

Suggested hashtag for this event: #LSEHalliday

Read our tribute to Fred Halliday, and find out more about the Fred Halliday memorial lecture series.

This event forms part of the “New World (Dis)Orders” series, held in the run up to the LSE Festival, a week-long series of events taking place from 25 February to 2 March 2019, free to attend and open to all, exploring how social science can tackle global issues. How did we get here? What are the challenges? And, importantly, how can we address them? The full LSE Festival programme is online.


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