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“The world’s progress is like that of a fleet horse, galloping and galloping onward. Whatever cannot skillfully change itself and progress along with world will find itself eliminated. This intellectual was affirming the need of collective human action and the efficacy of that action for guiding social change.”( Robert H. Lauer)

In this essay movements around the Middle East countries will be discussed in accordance with the theories of social movements.

Social movement is a persistent and organized effort on the part of relatively large number of people either to bring about or to resist a social change. According to “McAdam,1999” social movements are those organized efforts, on the part of excluded groups, to promote or resist changes in the structure of society that involve recourse to non institutional forms of political participation.” So social movement is a collective action of masses in which all the protesters are working under same ideology. People in social movements are bonded due to various perspectives like same ideologies, emotions, religion, gender, ethnic bases etc. So what is happening in Middle East countries?
                     In Middle East countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain huge masses came out on streets and roads protesting against the existing governments on their failure in providing the basic needs of a common person. So the main theme of these movements is economic, social and political inequalities. Looking onto Egypt’s movement, Egypt was ruled by President Mubarak for last thirty years. The movement started in 2006 by the labors of textile factory in Mahalla due to economic issues and Mahalla was once again the site of dissent when the food prices hit a new high. Egypt was passing through severe economic and social instabilities. People of Egypt were suffering due to the government’s false economic policies and were not given the rights they wanted. According to Esam Shaban, a researcher at the Afaq ishtiraqeyya center, “Over 80 percent of Egyptians are poor, Shaban says, and conditions have worsened over the past five years. While the Egyptian government often claims that increasing poverty is result of global market fluctuations, others suggest that Egypt’s problems are the direct result of growing gentrification and the government’s economic policies.”(Rizk)

These were some issues due to which a movement started and huge masses were on streets. This movement was later in 2008 joined by the university students when a student who was protesting against the economic conditions in country was shot by the police forces. The movement got strengthened when different classes of people joined the movement in which political parties like brotherhood were also included. Finally the movement resulted in stepping down of President Husni Mubarak from office.

Analyzing the movement we can infer that the movement was well disciplined and well organized which is related to resource mobilization (RM) theory. “Resource mobilization theory is concerned with looking at the functioning and structure of the movements and of movement organization in particular. This approach focuses on elite fragmentation within the political sphere as being central to the success of social movement. Theory of resource mobilization focuses on the strategic and political nature of social movements and view collective action largely through an organizational lens. Hence studies in this field are often concerned with social movement’s organizations (SMO’s), focusing on formal, professionalized groups lobbying for political influence.”(Della, Porta Donatella, and Mario Diani)

In Egypt’s movement the protesters worked accordingly to resource mobilization theory. The movement was first functioned and structured by the labors then later on different classes emerged and joined in that well structured movement. Internet social networking sites (facebook) played a vital role in functioning and structuring of the movement. Egyptians from all over the world participated through internet and protested worldwide to show their ideologies same as their brothers and sisters who were in Egypt.  Some elites of the Egypt in contrast with others were also part of the movement, which is accordingly to resource mobilization theory.

The movement was political in nature as Muslim brotherhood was the key part of it. Egypt’s movement was widely a collective action in which citizens of different cities worked together on one platform and assured each other by standing next to each other. So the Egypt’s movement was accordingly to resource mobilization theory.   

Looking at President Mubarak’s government, it was an autocratic government under the rule of military dictatorship. The political structure of the government was weak, corruption was on its peak and existing political system was vulnerable to challenge. So the other theory related to the Egypt’s movement is Political Opportunity Structure (POS). “Political opportunity structure argues that the actions of the activists are dependent on the existence or lack of specific political opportunity”

This theory focuses on political structure, military dictatorship, corruption and single incapable political part ruling the state. According to POS theory the people of a state challenges its political structure when they feel deprived, mistreated and have grievances directed at a system that they perceive as unjust. When a collective thinking of injustice develops, people become members of a movement against such political system and the goal of activists is organized in political context. 

In political opportunity structure, military dictatorship is one of the main causes of the movement. Political parties and worker of these political parties are commonly found in the protest against the military dictatorship. Corruption in political structure is one other key reason of movements.

Single ruling party which is considered incapable for ruling is also one major reason of movements according to political opportunity structure. This theory suggests that when there are no political opportunities, simply having grievances and resources will not be enough and thus the movement has a chance to succeed.

Therefore in Egypt, the people were deprived and were having a collective thinking of injustice by the Mubarak’s government. They had enough of the thirty years military dictatorship which was responsible for the bad economic conditions in the country, food prices were on their heights, ratio of jobless people was increasing day by day. At the same time people did find a political opportunity in order to bring about a social change in their lives and organized themselves. The movement members were in communication all over the country and abroad as well. The organized movement was the result of proper guidance of the movement leaders, who properly channeled the members in a stream to achieve the goals of the movement.

So in conclusion we can say that the Egypt movement was a strategic movement in which different classes of people collectively worked successfully for the goal of the whole nation. Thus the movement was carried out according to the political opportunity structure theory.

In this essay we have related both the theories that are; resource mobilization theory (RM) and political opportunity structure theory (POS) to the Egypt movement which is one of the Middle East countries where movements had been started against the existing governments. Similarly in other Middle East countries like Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain the basic concept behind the movements are economic, social and political inequalities. People of other countries are also working in different ways of social movement theories.

It is clear from the history that movements are carried out in order to bring about or to resist any social change in a society and different social movements are in one way or other are related to a different theory of social movement. This movement too can be related to other theory also in others point of view because movement involves a broad variation of strategic steps which can be easily related to any other theory of the social movement.

Movements have different aims behind them and are carried out worldwide for various purposes. We relate the movement and its success with different theories but the question still remains that how we predict the success of the movement?

The same question remains to be answered in Egypt’s movement, Are the Egyptians succeeded in achieving their goal of the movement? Are they happy with the consequences arrived after the movement? The movement of Egypt has yet not ended.

 Works Cited
Della, Porta Donatella, and Mario Diani. Social Movements: an Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999. 9. Print.
McAdam, Doug. Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ., 1999. Print.
Rizk, Philip. "Egypt's Labor Movement: 4 Years in Review." Web. <http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/38453>.
"Social Movements and Social Change by Robert H. Lauer." Questia - The Online Library of Books and Journals. Web. 20 Mar. 2011. <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&docId=77947944>.

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