Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies: Work-in-Progress session

Dr Kraetzschmar discusses his most recent co-authored research "We are all Wasatiyyun: The Shifting Sands of Centre Positioning in Egypt’s Early Post-Revolutionary Party Politics".

Location: 11-14 Blenheim Terrace SR (G.01)


This paper focuses on a common rhetorical referent in Egyptian public imagery and parlance–that of wasat (center) and its derivatives wasati/wasatiyya (centrist/centrism) – and discusses how it has been appropriated and molded in the sphere of party politics. Inductive in approach, it examines the rhetorical appropriations of the center ground by party officials, revealing not only its popularity as a marker of (ideological) self-positioning but its malleability and contextuality. The paper concludes that in Egyptian party politics the center positioning of parties cannot be gauged exclusively from the study of party manifestos and/or expert surveys, but ought to include contextual analysis of how this and other ideological markers are appropriated and given meaning in elite rhetoric.