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  • Author: Mohamed El Agati
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Egyptian state seeks to control civil society through laws and puts in place security measures to restrict its action, while civil society organizations, especially rights groups, deploy various strategies to ensure a minimal space for action. In this struggle, a solution lies not only in legislation enabling the participation of independent civil society but more in the opening of the political domain itself. In a context where the real danger lies in the continuation of a status quo that prevents the construction of a modern democratic state, civil society must build wider social and political network to enable it to influence state decisions and represent rights holders.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The economic and social rights movement has struck some success in working with contentious movements to challenge public policies and institutions in Egypt. However, no organic relationship developed between the two. The contentious movement did not strategically adopt an economic and social rights framing that would have enabled it to get beyond its local, largely apolitical and un-institutionalized characteristics in favour of a nationwide platform.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Secular political parties in Egypt have always been caught between an overbearing state and a largely Islamist opposition. The brief, chaotic political opening from 2011 to 2013 offered them unprecedented opportunities, but the violence and intense polarization that followed the military coup have put them under more pressure than ever. Formal politics in Egypt is now a tightly controlled game in which no real independence is allowed, but some secular parties might reemerge as contenders should there be another opportunity for free competition.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt’s new authoritarian regime is rapidly closing the public space—cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and thwarting citizens’ peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. The government’s primary strategy is to institute wide-scale repression through lawmaking and justify its behavior through conspiratorial and populist narratives. With unprecedented resolve, it has passed new protest and terrorism laws, introduced legal amendments targeting nongovernmental organizations, and extended the military court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the regime is adapting lawmaking for its own purposes. To fight against the tide, those challenging the system need to fully understand how.
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Large private enterprises are vital to Egypt’s economy and stability. After the 2011 uprising, they lost political sway due to their ties to the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak. However, Egypt’s economic crisis pushed successive regimes to reverse measures taken against these enterprises, affirming their role in economic revitalization. Though cut off from patronage networks after Egypt’s 2013 coup, enterprises are more autonomous from the state today. This may create advantageous openings if the state’s dependence on them grows.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Yara Shahin
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper explores the state of internal governance in Egyptian human rights NGOs. It looks at their internal structures including; decision-making processes, the existence and role of governing boards, relationships with donors, levels of accountability and representation of constituencies along with the relationship with the government within a restrictive legal and political environment. It argues that while the restrictive environment for civil society in Egypt has hindered the development of stronger internal governance mechanisms in many organizations, the internal dynamics of these organizations have also contributed to the weak internal governance structures in most of them. The dilemmas that persisted through different generations and phases of Egyptian human rights organizations include balancing activism on public issues with bureaucratization and professionalization of vehicle organizations, the difficulty for and resistance from founders/directors to leave their influential posts, developing better participatory mechanisms of accountability towards the NGOs constituencies and addressing the “stigma” of foreign funding
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Adel Abdel Ghafar
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The state was the subject of political and political economic analysis in general in the post-independence period. This was also the case in the Arab region, where new states emerged with cumbersome civil bureaucracies and large military and security apparatus, and with huge powers to control the management and direction of (natural and human) economic resources. It was as if the burden of economic and social modernization had been placed on those newly independent States in the face of traditional societies lacking the social classes capable of advancing modernization, be they bourgeois or national proletariat. Despite the decline of the development models of the state by the seventies, the Arab state has continued to be the focus of analysis of development and modernization with the flow of oil money and the emergence of rentierism in most, if not all, the Arab countries, whether direct producers of oil or receivers of oil through secondary flows. This has placed emphasis on the importance of the state as a holder of wealth and as a source of distribution for different social strata.
  • Topic: Education, Reform
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Fouad Halbouni
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper explores how the emergence of revolutionary youth movements have destabilized the different forms of political and religious identification inherited from the world of the Mubarak regime. I am interested basically in showing how revolutionary politics introduced new forms of identification that broke with the exclusionary binaries upon which Mubarak's world was based. In order to track those transformations, one needs to take a second look at revolutionary politics, its disruptive force of all existent grounds upon which these political and religious identities had root themselves
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Yosra El Gendi
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On October 13, 2014 in Corniche Street, Alexandria a police superintendent at a checkpoint and a navy officer engaged in a fist fight. The army officer contacted the military police which took the police officer and superintendent at the checkpoint to an army base where they were requested to stand hours in the sun as a form of punishment (Madgy et al., 2015). While many insist that these are individual incidents (Abdel- Aal, 2015). This is only one incident of at least 6 of clashes between members of both institutions since the 2011 uprising (Madgy, 2015). These incidents that point to the different security institutions’ extensive powers and the divisive structure in which they are based, a structure that was once called a “mamluk state” (al- Sherif, 2012). This points to the failed processes of state-building at the core of the institutional weaknesses in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Yasmine Shash
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes a chronology of Egypt’s human rights movement since its birth in 1985 going through its different phases and generations until 2016. It starts with a brief history of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights, the challenges it faced and the conceptual differences that led to its fragmentation in early 1994.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Mark Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Arab Islamist parties faced exceptional challenges and opportunities following the 2011 uprisings. After decades of facing authoritarian regimes, they suddenly had to navigate in radically new domestic, regional, and intra-Islamist contexts. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood had the most spectacular rise and fall, but its experience was atypical of other Islamist parties, which adapted more successfully. These changes overhauled the structure, ideology, and strategy of these parties in ways that unsettled long-standing expectations about their ideas and behavior.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Bart Hilhorst
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: Ongoing expansions of hydro-infrastructure in the Nile basin, combined with infrastructure completed in the past decade, are increasing the capacity to regulate the Nile as well as the benefits accrued to the Nile waters. No longer reliant on funding from the World Bank and Western donors alone, Nile water development is accelerating in a number of upstream riparian states. Hence, the river Nile upstream of the Aswan High Dam is gradually being transformed from a natural to a regulated river. Hydro-infrastructure projects represent a strong driver for issue-based cooperation among the most affected riparians, but it is noted that the basin- wide perspective is not considered in these ad hoc arrangements. This paper describes the emerging cooperative regime in the Nile basin and analyzes its effectiveness. It presents an inventory of where cooperation among Nile riparians is needed, and discusses the required level of cooperation. It looks at the benefits of cooperation that are not related to a specific geographic area. The paper then identifies four distinct sub-basins that have substantial autonomy in managing their water resources. It concludes that the emerging cooperative setup is logical and for now quite effective, and does not lock in arrangements that may prove inconsistent—at a later point in time—with the overall objective of reasonable and equitable use of the Nile waters by each riparian state. Hence, the emerging cooperative regime arguably represents a positive step in the evolution from a basin without cooperation to a basin managed to optimize the use of the Nile waters for the benefit of its people.
  • Topic: Environment, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Farah Ramzy
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Research focusing on non-formal political and social stakeholders/activists has been generally side-lined as a subject of political, sociological, and economic studies in the Arab world. This has been the case since the emergence of these sub-fields in the post-independence period of the 1960s, as Arab universities and research centres were founding their academic fields, until today. The exception that confirmed the rule was the Marxist approaches that succeeded in fostering a small but steady number of research groups interested mainly in workers’ and labor movements, and in particular unions, or in rural sociology as a reflection of the expression of class struggle within Arab societies.
  • Topic: Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Ismail Alexandrani
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: It is not yet clear what narrative will be told by history, but a dominant media narrative, the official one, has already been found for the on-going turbulence in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It appears that social media in the Nile Valley has preceded its counterpart in the Sinai Peninsula in developing this narrative due to geographical and demographic factors which are out of the control of the security and military authorities in Egypt. The main bridge connecting the northern Sinai with the Nile Valley has been closed since 30 June, 2013 (setting transport links back to the time when ferries made their way across the Suez Canal between great sea ships) and the military and security authorities have, to a great extent, succeeded in concealing whatever is happening on the ground that contradicts their narrative
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Ibrahim El-Houdaiby
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: With the charges against former President Mubarak thrown out of court - the Egyptian judiciary is being both praised and condemned by its citizens. "The crisis in the Egyptian judiciary is not that it needs legal and administrative “independence” from the executive… It’s that it needs to reform as a top priority… and emphasise its role of enforcing the law… and not permit anyone to act outside the context of the law or to act in a political manner that does not conform to the law."
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Dina El Khawaga
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On July 7, 2014, following the government’s announcement of its plan to reduce the fuel subsidy, President Abd al Fattah al Sisi stated that “Egypt is in a state of war, many are hostile to it within and outside the country who do not want this country to be saved.
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt