Loughborough University
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Beyond revolution: making sense of counter-revolutionary resonance with Deleuze

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posted on 2023-07-10, 13:22 authored by Imogen Lambert

Syrian writer and dissident Yassin al-Haj Salah describes our contemporary world as becoming “Syrianised”, linking the counter-revolution and mass atrocities in Syria to a resurgence of reactionary political movements in western liberal democracies.  Within political theory, such contagious processes of revolution, counter-revolution and fascism are often conceived as either emerging dialectically from opposing forces and/or explained by underlying structural causes.  This thesis contends that this mode of thought, and associated conceptions of radical politics, is inadequate to explain complex events of heterogeneity, such as the Syrian revolution and global reaction. Further still, this may even reinforce such cycles of revolution and counter-revolution.  I therefore attempt to move beyond a descriptive, historical approach and seek to re-examine the effects of events using an interpretative approach to political theory, which draws on Gilles Deleuze.  In particular, I use Deleuze’s concept of events produced by assemblages and the resonance of sense that holds these assemblages together and connects them with others.  Through this interpretative methodology, the thesis examines assemblages with various degrees of relation to the Syrian revolution regarding their components and tendencies; these are the Syrian town of Daraya, states involved in the Syrian conflict, and the left-populist movement in the UK.  The study considers how these assemblages received the event of the Syrian revolution and the affects such re-expressions triggered.  The thesis therefore asks: how can we understand the relationship between revolution, counter-revolution and fascism through theories of the event?  Through this examination, this thesis also aims to contribute towards an improved understanding of the Syrian revolution’s global impact.



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • International Relations, Politics and History


Loughborough University

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© Imogen Lambert

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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Chris Zebrowski ; Alexandre Christoyannopoulos

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  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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