New publication: “Financialisation of politics: the political economy of Egypt’s counterrevolution”

by Hesham Shafick

Hesham Shafick is a teaching fellow at Queen Mary University of London.


Recent contentious events in Egypt have invited debates over the resilience/fragility of the Egyptian regime. While the ‘regime resilience’ thesis remains the most persistent, the fall of Mubarak’s regime so easily in 2011 gave rise to theories tending towards the other extreme of ‘regime fragility’, with the return of authoritarian rule in 2013 bringing the issue of resilience back to the fore. This article reviews two recent monographs that transform this binary deadlock, Sara Salem’s Anticolonial afterlives in Egypt and Amy Austin Holmes’ Coups and revolutions. These works argue that the authoritarian regime of contemporary Egypt is simultaneously fragile and resilient since it relies on financial rather than political networks to consolidate its power. The lack of a political base renders the regime fragile, while the financial networks that it serves sustain its resilience. Viewed from this perspective, the revolution of 2011 and the coup of 2013 are reconceived as manifestations of the same financial politics that constituted the historical bloc.

The article can be found in The Review of African Political Economy at

Current research: How could Egypt’s revolutionaries overlook a state massacre of 1000+ protestors?

By Hesham Shafick

Hesham Shafick is a PhD scholar and teaching fellow at the School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London. Shafick co-convenes a cross-institutional research group on International Political Sociology – check

Two years after Egypt’s uprisings in 2011, a popularly-backed military coup massacred 1000+ protestors in Rabaa square. Many of the activist groups that mobilised for the earlier uprisings did not condemn this act. Existing social movement literature accounts for the political settings which made this silence structurally, ideologically and strategically viable. Building on these works, this article sheds light on the framing process through which the activists justified and hence reproduced this silence. Merging feminist ‘epistemologies of ignorance’ with(in) a ‘collective action framing’ framework, the article underlines the importance of ‘bottom-up’ approaches for understanding the reproduction of hegemonic silences beyond structural, ideological, and strategic determinism. 

The article can be found at