Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

In Egyptian Press: Kennedy Links Occupy Movement, Arab Spring

October 29, 2011

Michael D. Kennedy, professor of sociology and international studies at the Watson Institute, was recently quoted in the online English edition of Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Arabic-language daily newspaper in Egypt. In the article, “From Bringing down Ben Ali to Fixing up Wall Street,” Kennedy discussed Occupy Wall Street, its offshoots around the world, and various other ongoing protest movements.

The article draws parallels between the Occupy movement and Egypt’s uprising that brought down former president Hosni Mubarak, as well as protest movements in Greece, Spain, Chile, India, Israel, and across the Arab world.

In the article, Kennedy said it is not coincidental that such protests are taking place at the same time.

“Certainly the global recession is the trigger, but there is a broader structural shift,” he is quoted as saying. “There is more and more power concentrated in global financial sectors that are increasingly distant from democratic regulation.”

“These occurrences happen in sequence,” Kennedy said. “Clearly what happened in Tunisia and Cairo inspire the world. It inspires the world when the world recognized that it’s not if you have free elections or not, but if you have control over those decisions that happen off the democratic table.”

By Watson Institute Student Rapporteur Lauren Fedor '12