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Institute in Paris

Dr Marie Duboc

Teaching fellow in international politics

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Summary of research interests and expertise

  • Social movements 
  • Labor organisations 
  • Political economy 
  • Middle East politics 

I am a political sociologist studying Middle East politics through the lens of social movements. I am particularly interested in the upsurge of labour protests in the Middle East and in the sociopolitical transformations resulting from economic policies.   

My research on Egypt studied labour strikes in the textile sector before and after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Focusing on the ebb and flow of workers’ mobilisation and organisation, it asks how social movements contest and organise themselves under neoliberalism, as well as what they can achieve.   

It argues that state intervention to curb working-class action shapes the modalities of protests by fragmenting their scope. But even in cases of limited political openings, social movements deploy a great deal of creativity to contest and reshape political institutions and practices. This does not take place through extraordinary events, but via micro practices of contestation that go unnoticed by observers of revolutionary events and of authoritarian institutions.  

The volume I co-edited on coalitions and contentious politics in the Middle East further looks at the micro dynamics of social movements in the region. It focuses on coalitions that bring together actors across class, ethnic, generation or professional divisions to study their transformative power despite authoritarian regimes’ policies to fragment social movements.  

Building on my work on labour, my current research interests focus on the political economy of energy policies in North Africa to study the redefinition of state-society relations through energy infrastructure projects. 


  • PhD Sociology (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) 
  • MSc Comparative Politics (London School of Economics) 
  • MA History (Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne) 
  • DEUG Arabic (Aix-en-Provence) 


  • Allying Beyond Social Divides? Coalitions and Contentious Politics in the Middle East and North Africa, (co-editor with Yasmine Berriane), special issue, Mediterranean Politics, 24:4, (2019).  
  • “Allying beyond social divides: An introduction to contentious politics and coalitions in the Middle East and North Africa” (with Yasmine Berriane), Mediterranean Politics, 24:4, (2019) pp.399-419.  
  • “Reluctant Revolutionaries? Labour protests in Egypt 2006-13” in Reem Abou-El-Fadl (ed), Revolutionary Egypt, Connecting domestic and international struggles, (New York, Routledge, 2015) pp.27-42  
  • “Mouvement ouvrier, luttes syndicales et processus révolutionnaire en Egypte 2006-2013” (with Joel Beinin) in Michel Camau and Frédéric Vairel (eds.) Soulèvements et recompositions politiques dans le monde arabe, (Les Presses de l’université de Montréal, 2014) pp.121-142.   
  • “Where are the Men? Here are the Men and the Women! Surveillance, Gender and Strikes in Egyptian Textile Factories”, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 9:2, (2013) pp.28-53. 
  • “Challenging the Trade Union, Reclaiming the Nation, the Politics of Labor Protest in Egypt” in M.Kamrava (ed.), Beyond the Arab Spring: The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East, (New York, Columbia University Press/Hurst, 2013) pp.223-248.  
  • “A Workers’ Social Movement on the Margin of the Global Neoliberal Order, Egypt 2004-2012” (with Joel Beinin) in J. Beinin and F. Vairel (eds.), Social Movements, Mobilization and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa, (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2nd edition, 2013) pp.205-227.  
  • “Egyptian Leftist Intellectuals’ Activism from the Margins: Overcoming the Mobilization/Demobilization Dichotomy” in J. Beinin and F. Vairel (eds.), Social Movements, Mobilization and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa, (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2nd edition, 2013) pp.49-67.