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SINGING FOR THE PEOPLE: POPULIST SENTIMENT AND RESISTANCE MUSIC IN EGYPT AND MOROCCO

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Abstract

Although the study of populism has thrived in the last two decades, the concept itself remains contested among social scientists. One reason behind the difficulty of grasping this concept is academic parochialism, which can be sense in the “the absence of dialogue between epistemic communities undertaking research in different countries and world regions” (Kaltwasser, 2018, p. 63). This dissertation contributes to this debate, by introducing two cases from the Global South from “the people” rather than the leadership’s perspective. It focuses on Egypt and Morocco in the 1960s-1970s, a tumultuous period that knew a rise in populist sentiment across the globe (Heilbronner, 2016). Given the importance of protests music in this era, the populist sentiment is assessed and analyzed through songs of the duo Imam-Negm (Egypt) and Nass El-Ghiwane (Morocco), both pioneers of protest singing in their respective countries (Jubair, 2015; Sadiq, 2014). The method of analysis is Rose (2001)’s “discourse analysis I”, which is based on Foucault’s critical discourse analysis and Potter (1996)’s constructionist approach.The results show that in both cases, the expression of populist sentiment aligns with the symbolic dimension of the concept of inclusionary populism, as defined by Filc (2010). In terms of the communication style, the results emphasize the use of parody, satire, and mockery in the Egyptian case, which reminds of Bakhtine’s carnivalesque and the dichotomy of official and unofficial culture. In the case of Morocco, the expression of populist sentiments follows a mystic approach, represented by the idea of Trance, or the depiction of oppression as a supernatural power, possessing the body of the oppressed. While these results inform about some modes of expression of populist sentiment in Egypt and Morocco, they are my no mean generalizable as they do not account for the internal and external political and social dynamics in these countries or the broader region of North Africa. Future research should also consider other cases of exclusionary populism in North Africa, namely nativist and ethnic movements like the Kabyle movement of liberation, whose discourse echoes the rhetoric of Western European right-wing populism. Keywords: populism, populist sentiment, inclusionary, exclusionary, protest songs, Morocco, Egypt.

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243 pages

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2023-08

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exclusionary; inclusionary; Morocco Egypt; populism; populist sentiment; protest songs

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Margolin, Drew

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Niederdeppe, Lee
Byrne, Sahara

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Communication

Degree Name

Ph. D., Communication

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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