Political Life in Cairo's New Quarters: Encountering the Everyday State

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Overview

Since the 1970s, Cairo has experienced tremendous growth and change. Nearly three million people now live in new urban communities characterized by unregulated housing, informal economic activity, and the presence of Islamist groups. Salwa Ismail examines the effects of these changes in Political Life in Cairo’s New Quarters. Working in Cairo, Ismail interviewed new quarter residents, observed daily life in markets and alleyways, met with local leaders, and talked with young men about their encounters with the government. Rich in ethnographic detail, this work reveals the city’s new urban quarters as sites not only of opposition and relative autonomy, but also under governmental surveillance and discipline. In doing so, it situates the everyday within the context of wider developments in Cairo: the decline of welfarism, the shift to neoliberal government, and the rise of the security state. Original and timely, Political Life in Cairo’s New Quarters highlights the interplay of structural changes, state power, and daily governance, and presents a fascinating analysis of urban transformation and power struggles—as international forces meet local communities in a major city of the global south. Salwa Ismail is a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Exeter.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816649112
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/29/2006
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.89 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
A Note on Transliteration     xi
Glossary of Arabic Terms     xiii
Introduction: Space, Politics, and the Everyday State in Cairo     xvii
Reconfiguring Cairo: New Popular Quarters between the Local and the Global     1
Internal Governance: Forms and Practices of Government in Everyday Life     33
Neoliberalism and the Relocation of Welfare     66
Youth, Gender, and the State in Cairo: Marginalized Masculinities and Contested Spaces     96
The Politics of Security: An Economy of Violence and Control     129
Postscript: Collective Action and the Everyday State     161
The "Field" and "Home": The Politics of Location     171
Thematic Outline of Interview Frames     181
Notes     185
Bibliography     197
Index     209
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