Emergency, Governmentality, and the 'Arab Spring'
Jadaliyya, August 2011
4 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2012
Date Written: August 10, 2011
With states of emergency proving salient to the unfolding of the Arab uprisings in the spring of 2011 and continuing to permeate the political landscape — through opposition to long-standing emergencies as well as proclamations of new ones — it is worth reflecting on the genesis and underlying essence of emergency law. The ostensible premise of the doctrine of emergency is one of a last resort mechanism to be implemented for the common good, with the temporary suspension of certain freedoms necessary to facilitate an expedient return to "normalcy" and the full restoration of legal rights. Historical experience, however, from European colonialism to Arab dictatorship, suggests that reality is otherwise.
Keywords: state of emergency, Arab uprisings, Arab Spring, governmentality, international human rights law
JEL Classification: K33, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation