Abstract

What is the legacy of the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and associated protests? This is the question at the heart of this paper. To answer it, I will argue that these protests are indicative of an international mobilization that together shared both a horizontal structure and pseudo-utopian philosophy, which, in turn, affected how activists understood their own movements. To begin, this paper traces the precursors of these horizontal protests within the literature, analyzing their origins in events such as the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle (1999) and the World Social Forums since then. Next, I use Giorgio Agamben’s theorization of the “Coming Community” and Richard Day’s critique of this same concept to interpret these as “coming movements,” which afford new potentialities without fully realizing Agamben’s pseudo-Utopian vision. Lastly, through analysis of interviews with Moroccan activists who participated in the February 20th Movement—an offshoot of the Arab Spring—I will demonstrate that the lived experience of activists within this movement fits the structure and philosophy analyzed above.

Advisor

Matsuzawa, Setsuko

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Disciplines

Other Sociology | Politics and Social Change

Publication Date

2014

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar

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© Copyright 2014 Paige I. Ambord