Throughout history, cities have been the theatre of social and spatial struggles. The issue of urban protests, however, has not yet been investigated in detail in the light of the growing concern of the need to rethink urban studies, from theoretical and epistemic assumptions, to methodological issues. It is argued that the mobilisation of urban dissent in the so-called Arab Spring offers a good opportunity to develop a critical approach based on the observation of the nexus between an event (a punctual expression of dissent) and a site (the urban environment in which the former takes place). The goal is to avoid theoretical rigidities inherent to the assumptions about the intrinsic qualities of cities or social movements. The paper also aims at connecting different academic and disciplinary traditions across linguistic divides-and especially the Anglophone urban studies with the Francophone stream of city-focused political science and political sociology.