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Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/siso.2014.78.1.11

The 2011 Egyptian revolution and its concrete outcomes of military rule and Muslim Brotherhood governance demand a thorough analysis that transcends the archetypical binaries of revolution and counter-revolution, uprising and transition, dictatorship and democracy. A Gramscian interpretation, deploying the concepts of historical bloc, passive revolution, and Caesarism, embeds the contemporary events within a historical process of post-colonial state formation and reconfiguration and the local implementation of global neoliberal accumulation strategies. These lineages elucidate the capacity of the Armed Forces to play a specific Caesarist role during the revolutionary process. The January 25 insurrection and its counter-revolutionary appropriation by the military and the Brotherhood are rendered intelligible as alternating moments of one and the same process, in which the revolutionary mobilization of the masses is intersected, on the one hand, by hegemonic relations between ruling and subaltern groups, and, on the other, by political fights internal to these discrete factions.