17:00 to 19:00
End date
16 May 2016
Seminar Room C Manor Road Building Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ
Monday, 16 May 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm


Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring, Triumphs and Disasters

A Book Colloquium

The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, along with Wolfson College and the Foundation for Law, Justice, and Society invites you to a book colloquium to discuss the newly-released book Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring, Triumphs and Disasters.


Introductory Remarks – Denis Galligan, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford

Sir Adam Roberts Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Studies, Oxford University

Elham Fakhro DPhil Candidate, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

Civil resistance, especially in the form of massive peaceful demonstrations, was at the heart of the Arab Spring – the chain of events in the Middle East and North Africa that erupted in December 2010. It won some notable victories: popular movements helped to bring about the fall of authoritarian governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Yet these apparent triumphs of non-violent action were followed by disasters – wars in Syria, anarchy in Libya and Yemen, reversion to authoritarian rule in Egypt, and counter-revolution backed by external intervention in Bahrain. Why did so much go wrong? Was the problem the methods, leadership and aims of the popular movements, or the conditions of their societies?

The colloquium will examine the ways in which the civil resistance movements related to legal and constitutional systems, both within states and internationally. Did they appeal to higher law and/or morality, and to international as distinct from national law? To what extent did the protesters engaging in civil resistance seek to reform or overturn  existing legal and constitutional institutions, or to establish new ones?

The discussions will seek to draw both general and context-specific conclusions about the successes and failures of civil resistance movements in the Arab Spring. 

For more details and to register, please visit the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies website