Horizontalism in the Egyptian Revolutionary Process

by John Chalcraft
published in MER262

A number of academics, commentators and activists have noted the presence of what one might call “horizontalism” in the Egyptian revolutionary process that started on January 25, 2011: the decentralized or networked form of organizing; the leaderless protest movements; the eschewal of top-down command; the deliberative, rather than representative, democracy; the emphasis on participation, creativity and consensus; the opposition to dogma and sectarianism, often associated with older generations; and new links, respectful of diversity and often youth-inspired, between formerly sharply opposed political currents.

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