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Editorial

Editorial Dear reader What if violence constitutes an inevitable, even necessary, component of democra­ tic struggle? A provocative question perhaps, but one that underlines the violence, in its many different forms, that is part of the daily life of many Africans. Specifically, in the case of North African countries, the radical political transformations of the past two years, the so-called Arab Spring, have inevitably coincided with considerable violence. And this was a feature from the outset. As the independent film-maker based in Cairo, Philip Rizk pointed out recently: "Despite the glorification of an eighteen-day revolution as non-violent, violence has been a part of this revolution since the first stone was thrown on 25 January 2ou - followed three days later by the torching of police stations on the Friday of Rage - and until today".' So again my question, does violence form part of a de­ mocratic process? This might seem like kicking an open door if one considers the abun­ dant critical literature on the history of revolutions. Hannah Arendt, for example, argued in her book On Revolution that a revolution is not even conceivable outside the domain of violence. This is why, she adds, there is such a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Afrika Focus Brill

Editorial

Afrika Focus , Volume 26 (1): 6 – Feb 26, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0772-084X
eISSN
2031-356X
DOI
10.1163/2031356X-02601002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Dear reader What if violence constitutes an inevitable, even necessary, component of democra­ tic struggle? A provocative question perhaps, but one that underlines the violence, in its many different forms, that is part of the daily life of many Africans. Specifically, in the case of North African countries, the radical political transformations of the past two years, the so-called Arab Spring, have inevitably coincided with considerable violence. And this was a feature from the outset. As the independent film-maker based in Cairo, Philip Rizk pointed out recently: "Despite the glorification of an eighteen-day revolution as non-violent, violence has been a part of this revolution since the first stone was thrown on 25 January 2ou - followed three days later by the torching of police stations on the Friday of Rage - and until today".' So again my question, does violence form part of a de­ mocratic process? This might seem like kicking an open door if one considers the abun­ dant critical literature on the history of revolutions. Hannah Arendt, for example, argued in her book On Revolution that a revolution is not even conceivable outside the domain of violence. This is why, she adds, there is such a

Journal

Afrika FocusBrill

Published: Feb 26, 2013

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