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Acts of whistleblowing: the case of collective claim making by healthcare workers in Egypt

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • T. Sharkawi
  • N. Ali
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/07/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Interface: a journal for and about social movements
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)139-163
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


After a brief interlude of democratization ushered in by the Arab uprisings in
2011, Egypt has taken a sharp turn towards authoritarianism. While political
repression has disintegrated social movements and demobilized seasoned
activists, the outbreak of the coronavirus has afforded an opening for new
voices, such as those of healthcare workers who took to social media to expose
mismanagement and malpractice within the healthcare sector. The article
examines acts of whistleblowing performed by Egypt’s healthcare workers
during a public health crisis, drawing on qualitive research materials collected
from social media, trade union press releases, and interviews conducted with a
small group of doctors and pharmacists. The article contends that individual
acts of whistleblowing can produce unconventional practices towards collective
claim-making prompting multiple forms of contentious mobilization. The
findings highlight main features that facilitate diffusing and sustaining
mobilization under prohibitive authoritarian settings.