Sectarian Conflict in Egypt: Coptic Media, Identity and Representation

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Routledge, May 31, 2012 - Political Science - 228 pages

In light of the Egyptian uprising in early 2011, understanding the dynamics that are shaping Egyptian politics and society is more crucial than ever as Egypt seeks to re-define itself after the Mubarak era. One of the most controversial debates concerns the place of religion in Egypt’s political future. This book examines the escalation in religious violence in Egypt since 2005 and the public discourses behind it, revealing some of the complex negotiations that lie behind contestations of citizenship, Muslim-Christian relations and national unity.

Focusing on Egypt’s largest religious minority group, the Coptic Orthodox Christians, this book explores how national, ethnic and religious expressions of identity are interwoven in the narratives and usage of the press and Internet. In doing so it offers insights into some of Egypt’s contemporary social and political challenges, and recognises the ways that media are involved in constructing and reflecting formations of identity politics. The author examines in depth the processes through which identity and belonging are negotiated via media discourses within the wider framework of changing political realities in Egypt. Using a combination of methodological approaches - including comprehensive surveys and content analysis - the research offers a fresh perspective on the politics of identity in Egypt.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
PART I Copts Copticness and the Egyptian media
9
PART II Copts and national representation in the MubarakShenouda era
71
PART III Challenging regimes of representation
123
Conclusion
188
Notes
192
Bibliography
196
Index
222
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About the author (2012)

Elizabeth Iskander is Research Fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies, and Visiting Fellow at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on Arabic media, conflict prevention, language, power and identity, and politics and religion in the Middle East.

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