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Martyrs and TrickstersAn Ethnography of the Egyptian Revolution$
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Walter Armbrust

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162645.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

A New Normal?

A New Normal?

The Iron Fist and the False Promise

Chapter:
(p.206) Chapter 10 A New Normal?
Source:
Martyrs and Tricksters
Author(s):

Walter Armbrust

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691162645.003.0011

This chapter describes how, in “Trickster politics,” the figure of the Trickster is connected to liminality, and revolution can be understood as a liminal crisis that causes an unpredictable transition, and potentially a transition to a “new normal” that nobody can anticipate. Taufiq ʻUkasha instantiated a Trickster politician. He was a counterrevolutionary propagandist, and possibly an operative of Egyptian military intelligence when it was run by Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi himself is a Trickster insofar as he comes into political office as an outsider, and rules as an outsider—capriciously, in an atmosphere of relentless conspiracy, by resorting to violence as a fundamental condition of governance, but also by means of substituting fantastic promises for political hegemony. Moreover, Sisi is legible not just as a Trickster, but as a global actor in an “age of the Trickster.” While one might argue about whether a given politician truly deserves to be described as a Trickster, the figure of the Trickster is universal. One can scarcely contest its existence.

Keywords:   Trickster politics, liminality, revolution, Trickster politician, Taufiq ʻUkasha, Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, violence, political hegemony, conspiracy

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