Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Jeff Maskovsky

Committee Members

Gary Wilder

Mandana Limbert

Paul Amar

Subject Categories

Other Geography | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Political Geography, Violence, Baltaga, Counteinsurgency, Bulaq, Cairo


My doctoral dissertation, “The Making of Counter-Insurgent Geographies in Post-Revolutionary Cairo, Baltaga and Maslaha at Bulaq Abule’lla,” investigates the rise of the securitization regime in Cairo, Egypt, in the aftermath of the 2013 coup. I conducted 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Bulaq Abule’lla, a district in central Cairo that the Egyptian state targeted for residential and commercial redevelopment because of its high land values and neighborhood access to the Nile river. Adjacent to Tahrir Square, it was also a significant site of revolutionary activity during the 2011-revolution. In the dissertation, I trace residents’ responses to the Egyptian state's roll out of new security measures and redevelopment schemes, focusing in particular on the three sites of Wikalet el-Balah, Maspero Triangle, and Ramlet Bulaq. I argue that the Egyptian state’s efforts to redevelop Bulaq Abule’lla merged a real-estate profit-making scheme with counter-insurgency efforts in a scenario that I call securitization by accumulation. This novel assemblage works to threaten and displace segments of the urban working classes that the state deemed to be politically dangerous, and its roll out required the creation of an infrastructure of violence that brought people, the built environment, and place-making practices together in a novel, dangerous form that threatened working class residents with displacement, dispossession, and political persecution. Residents responded to these threats by inventing new subjectivities emphasizing their attachments to place, and, ultimately, their investments in dwelling.

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