Dina Bishara received POMEPS Travel-Research-Engagement (TRE) grants* in spring 2011 and spring 2012 to study labor union movements in Tunisia and Egypt. As a research fellow with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, she published “Labor Movements in Tunisia and Egypt: Drivers and Objects of Transition from Authoritarian Rule.” In comparing the radically differing roles of the Egyptian and Tunisian labor unions in the post-Arab uprisings transition, Bishara finds that:
The legacy of different variations of authoritarian rule as well as the history of the respective labor movements has had significant consequences for their ability to shape post-transition politics. Whereas the Egyptian labor movement is fragmented, and control over labor organizations has become a battlefield for competing political forces in Egypt, organized labor emerged as an actor in its own right, playing a leading role in the Tunisian transition by mitigating political conflict and helping to move the process along.
Bishara is the Jarvis Doctorow Research Fellow in the Politics and International Relations of the Middle East at the University of Oxford. She is the author of “The Power of Workers in Egypt’s 2011 Uprising?” in The Arab Spring in Egypt: Revolution and Beyond (American University Press, 2012). For the Middle East Channel, she contributed “Egyptian Labor between Morsi and Mubarak” (November 28, 2012) and “Who Speaks for Egypt’s Workers?” (September 6, 2012). She is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Authoritarianism Contested: Challenges to State Corporatism in Egypt.” — C.K.
* POMEPS is currently accepting applications for Spring/Summer 2015 TRE grants. Full details here.