Regimes lost in Political Space: A comparative analysis of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the 2009 post-elections protests.
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This thesis aims to explain how certain individuals and groups in Egypt and Iran were able to form a social movement base from which they could launch a social movement campaign against their regimes. By using the 'Contentious Politics' framework of Charles Tilly and Sydney Tarrow (2007), the author reconstructs the contentious episodes of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the 2009 Iranian post-elections protests. The author furthermore argues that the reason for the different outcome in these cases, is rooted in the difference in the institutional political space of Egypt and Iran. Because Egyptian oppositional, political actors had no institutional opportunity to make their claim, they were forced to organize it on the streets. While Iranian oppositional, political actors could rely in the past on Parliament and the media to express their contention. The result was that the Egyptian opposition had years of experience in public contentious performances on the streets, while the Iranians lacked that very discipline and organization when they confronted the security apparatus of the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.