Sara Fregonese – Beyond the domino. Transnational (in)security and the 2011 protests

Event Date: 1 December 2011
Royal Holloway University of London
2 Gower Street
London WC1E 6DP

City/ State/ Resistance: Spaces of Protest in the Middle East and Mediterranean

Interdisciplinary workshop from Royal Holloway University

Sponsored by The British Academy


Sara Fregonese (Geography, RHUL)
Beyond the domino. Transnational (in)security and the 2011 protests

Beyond the domino. Transnational (in)security and the 2011 protests
In 2011, several expert analyses of the the Arab Spring have employed the spatial metaphor of the falling domino pieces to indicate its spread from country to country. The paper questions this type of representation and highlight its implications for understanding the political geographies of protest in the Mediterranean.
The paper first presents a number of critical and even subversive uses of the domino theory in popular culture, notably by political cartoonists. Secondly, it complicates the linear geographies of the domino with non linear networks of transnational uprising and solidarity, and ìgrammarsî of urban security. These non-linear threads reach beyond the Arab region, and highlight trans-Mediterranean spaces of protest where the relationship between State and resistance is coming increasingly under pressure. Ultimately, the transnational recontextualisation exposes the limited nature of those understanding of change which consider change in the Arab world as merely agency-less pieces of dominos, falling along a pre-determined path of democratisation.

Sara Fregonese is British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is a political geographer with a background in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies. Her research is on urban conflict and sovereignty in the Middle East, particularly Lebanon. Her book ‘War in Lebanon: an Urban Geopolitics’ is currently in preparation.



back to conference page

share this entry: