Changes in world politics are often examined at the state-level; however, political transitions also deeply affect civilians. During the Egyptian Revolution and in the years since, numerous civilians have experienced high levels of exposure to both political and apolitical violence (Haas & Lesch, 2012). Survivors of such acts can suffer from a host of mental health issues (Stern, 2014). For many Egyptians, however, stigmatization combined with a lack of access to mental health services often results in a failure to seek treatment (e.g., Coker, 2005), leaving civilians to cope with any post-traumatic symptoms on their own. Yet, recovery from posttraumatic symptoms does not occur in a vacuum, but rather within a larger social system. Interpersonal relationships are often damaged by post-traumatic symptoms, but they can also aid in mitigating these symptoms (e.g., Laffaye, Cavella, Drescher, & Rosen, 2008). Using Egypt as a case study while drawing from literature on trauma and political change along with social support theory (Vaux, 1988), in this paper I (plan to) offer an interdisciplinary theoretical exploration into the dynamic relationship between trauma and social support networks during times of political transition; the ultimate aim of this project is to shed light on the broader impact of political change, beyond the state-level.
*I'm still at the very beginning of this project. In other words, rather than presenting a finished project, I will be presenting my nascent ideas (including background on the situation in Egypt) in hopes of receiving feedback of any kind, including ideas on ways to move forward, possible measurements to consider as well as any relevant scholars or areas of literature. (The area of social support theory is very new to me and I'm also still getting acquainted with the trauma/PTS/PTSD literature - so all ideas are welcome!)