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  • Author: Dina H. Sherif, Salma El Sayeh
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In 2010, the Arab region was regarded as having very little potential for serious political transformation. The outside world perceived “stable” authoritarian regimes with iron-fist control over citizens who would surely never demand drastic change. Amal Ghadour described the regional landscape best: “These are the lifeless landscapes you are sure to behold if you were standing and peering down. Crouch and you begin to brush against the faint gusts of wind delicately working their way through them.”1 Engagement comes in many forms besides political, and in 2010, countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Syria were seeing significant increases in the number of NGOs, private sector engagement in social development, philanthropy, and youth volunteerism. None of these was viewed as a threat to the existing regimes at the time, but they represented a new coalescence of power amid increasing human rights abuses, youth exclusion, unemployment rates, and social inequity. The ingredients for change were there and finally ignited by the self-immolation of street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 December 2010 in Tunisia, which launched the cycle of mass uprisings and the falling of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya in 2011.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Business , Youth, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia
  • Author: Nourhan Shaaban
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Nelly El Zayat is the co-founder and CEO of Newton Education Services and an advisor to the Minister of Education in Egypt on early childhood education and education policy. Nelly has been working in international education for the past 21 years, specifically in student advising, scholarship management, admissions, curriculum design, e-learning, learner-centered teaching, and student recruitment and on bridging the gap between education and the job market. She has held positions in several organizations including America Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST), the International Institute of Education (IIE), and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She is specifically interested in education reform and development in Egypt and the Middle East and the role technology plays in education. Nelly holds a master’s degree in international education policy from Harvard University and a master of arts in Middle East studies and a bachelor of arts in economics from American University in Cairo. She is an alumni ambassador and member of the International Peer Advisory Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Topic: Education, Governance, Interview
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Ayfer Erdogan
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: In 2013, Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by a military coup. Since then the country has undergone serious setbacks in terms of democracy, individual freedoms, and social justice. Egypt’s failed revolution and the military coup could not be thought independently from the role of external actors - either directly or indirectly involved in this process. Despite their political rhetoric emphasizing democracy promotion and political reforms, both the US and the EU failed to pursue consistent and contributory policies in promoting democratic transition in Egypt out of fear that the electoral victory of Islamist groups would harm their interests in the region. On the other hand, the Gulf Monarchies played a pivotal role in the entrenchment of the military rule by providing financial and political support to the military-backed government as a shield against the democratically elected government in Egypt. This article investigates how the policies adopted by Egypt’s key allies, the European Union, the US and the Gulf Monarchies, impacted the trajectory of Egypt’s political transition in the face of the January 25 revolution and 2013 military coup. The main thesis of the article is that the policies pursued by external actors created a political environment unfavorable for democratic change in Egypt.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Military Affairs, Authoritarianism, European Union, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Egypt
  • Author: Natasha Banks, M. Anis Salem
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cairo Review of Global Affairs
  • Institution: School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo
  • Abstract: A roadmap for a sustainable future without wasteful subsidies and mismanagement.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Food Security, Sustainability, Human Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Victor Asal
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Over the last 20 years, research in the area of terrorism studies has expanded enormously in many directions, including studies focusing on terrorist events as well as on individual behavior and the behavior and characteristics of organizations. One of the topics that has been of great interest to researchers of terrorist organizations is the nature, impact, and cause of terrorist organizational alliances. From Marc Sageman’s groundbreaking book Understanding Terror Networks and a growing body of articles and books, researchers are trying to understand the impact of such connections on terrorist organizations. There is still a lot of research, though, that needs to be done in this area. For example, Sageman’s book focuses more on internal connections and especially on jihadist organizations. Much of the other literature focuses on organizations allying in the same milieu. In Why Terrorist Groups Form International Alliances, Tricia Bacon expands on this perspective by exploring why terrorist organizations would form connections beyond their domestic competition and make the effort to ally with other groups internationally. This is an interesting and important effort in the literature on terrorist alliances given the regular focus on like organizations making alliances with like. The book is well laid out and explains its argument and the supporting evidence in a clear and useful manner.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Non State Actors, Book Review, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Egypt
  • Author: James Aird
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: As Egypt’s ‘Year of Education’ begins, the government pushes much needed reform in pre-university education across the country. Supported by a $500 million World Bank loan, the government is accelerating efforts to train teachers, build schools, and implement tablet technology in primary and secondary education. The reforms include one ambitious project that is especially deserving of more attention: the expansion of a pilot program adapting Japanese educational techniques to the Egyptian context. At a meeting in Tokyo on February 29th, 2016, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced a joint partnership that sought to link Egypt to Japan through educational development, in part thanks to al Sisi’s personal admiration for Japan’s education system. As part of the joint partnership, Japanese and Egyptian administrators and policymakers set out to reshape Egyptian pedagogy. Modeled on Japan’s Tokkatsu education system, which refers to a program of “whole child development,” Egypt aims to build schools that place great emphasis on teaching students to be responsible, disciplined, and clean, as opposed to the more traditional model prioritizing higher standardized testing scores. A Tokkatsu-inspired curriculum is already being used at over forty schools that accepted more than 13,000 students in September 2018. While President al Sisi plans to personally monitor the new education system, other MENA states should also watch closely. If it successfully contributes to building Egypt’s human capital and improving students’ competitiveness, other states in the region might consider implementing similar educational policies.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Reform, Children, Partnerships, Youth
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Roie Yellinek
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: State-directed repression and harassment directed against Muslims in China has drawn broad international condemnation throughout the Western world. However, what has been the reaction from the Islamic world itself? Although reactions among major states have varied (as discussed below), the reaction throughout the Islamic world has largely been one of deafening silence—and when voices are raised, they have been faint.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Prisons/Penal Systems, State Violence, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Xinjiang
  • Author: Christopher C. Harmon, T. J. Linzy, Jack Vahram Kalpakian, Bruce I. Gudmundsson, Ryan Burke, Jahara "Franky" Matisek, Zsofia Budai, Kevin Johnston, Blagovest Tashev, Michael Purcell, David McLaughlin, Kashish Parpiani, Daniel De Wit, Timothy Chess
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: In this issue of MCU Journal, the authors discuss various concepts of power and great power competition. For generations, scholars have debated changes in power and how that evolution could potentially impact the United States, its allies, and those hovering on the edge of greatness in whatever form that may take. The concept of power has taken on many meanings as the character of warfare has adapted to the time—hard power, soft power, sea power, airpower, space power, great power, combat power, etc. So how do we define such an abstract concept as power? The Department of Defense (DOD) defines combat power as “the total means of destructive and/or disruptive force which a military unit/formation can apply against the opponent at a given time.” Clearly, power must be projected; and for our purposes, that means an entity has the “ability . . . to apply all or some of its elements of national power—political, economic, informational, or military—to rapidly and effectively deploy and sustain forces in and from multiple dispersed locations to respond to crises, to contribute to deterrence, and to enhance regional stability.”
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Migration, History, Power Politics, Armed Forces, Navy, Populism, Grand Strategy, Alliance, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Strategic Competition, Geography, Ottoman Empire, Information Technology , Clash of Civilizations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, Sudan, India, Norway, Asia, France, North America, Egypt, Arctic, United States of America, Antarctica
  • Author: Robin Faibt
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: National interests and unilateral action hinder cooperation between the Nile riparian countries.1 While there is broad consensus that cooperation provides a solution to conflict over the Nile River, the question is how to transform the conflict towards cooperative behaviour. Mediation between the main conflict parties – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – is necessary. The mediation efforts should be based on African approaches to conflict resolution, focusing on the realisation that one’s own well-being is intrinsically linked to the well-being of others. Mediation based on such a framework could change perspectives from national interests towards cooperation, which is not merely interested in mutual gains but reflects a sense of solidarity between the conflict parties and how benefits are interconnected.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Territorial Disputes, Water, Maritime, Land
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt
  • Author: Bárbara Azaola
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Uno de los pilares en los que se ha basado la política regional de Egipto desde que en 1979 firmase el tratado de paz con Israel, ha sido su voluntad de jugar un papel de mediador entre israelíes y palestinos. En este artículo se analiza cómo desde la época de Hosni Mubarak el régimen egipcio se ha servido, tanto a nivel regional, internacional e interno, de su papel de mediador en el conflicto palestino-israelí. Este rol ha sido usado no sólo para su reconocimiento hacia el exterior sino también como instrumento de legitimación ante su opinión pública. Ni siquiera bajo la presidencia del islamista Mohamed Morsi (2012-2013) se produjo un realineamiento radical a nivel regional. A partir de 2013, con la llegada al poder del militar Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, los vínculos con Israel se han estrechado a distintos niveles. Se analiza, también, si en el Egipto post-Mubarak, la oposición política y la sociedad civil han mantenido la tradicional movilización por la causa palestina como forma de aumentar su visibilidad pública, habiendo sido esta “tolerada” previamente para que actuase como válvula de escape.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, History, Domestic politics, Mediation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt
  • Author: Hassan Hassan, Brian Dodwell, Don Rassler, Fernando Reinares, Carola Garcia-Calvo, Alvaro Vicente, Michael Horton, Chris Zambelis
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Two recent developments suggest the Islamic State’s caliphate pretensions are being consigned to history. The first is the group’s destruction of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, where three years ago Abu Bakr al Baghdadi declared his caliphate to the world. The second is the fact that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab militia, has now entered the city limits of Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in Syria. In our cover article, Hassan Hassan outlines the challenges ahead in liberating and holding Raqqa. While removing the Islamic State from the city could take anywhere from weeks to months, he argues the harder task will be for the force, whose backbone is made up of Kurdish fighters, to prevent the Islamic State from exploiting ethnic tensions to destabilize the city after it is liberated. But he argues there is a window of opportunity for the SDF to bring sustainable security to Raqqa and surrounding areas because of the willingness of local tribes to work with liberating forces and warming relations between the SDF and Syrian Sunni rebel groups, who increasingly view the U.S.-backed force as a check on the Assad regime’s ability to regain control of northeastern Syria. While the Islamic State is shrinking, Lieutenant General Michael K. Nagata, director of the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning at the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, in a wide-ranging interview on evolving terror threats, draws attention to the group’s organizational resilience in the face of withering pressure from the coalition fighting it. The Islamic State’s attack on Tehran on June 7 was a case in point. At a time of rising sectarian tension across the Middle East, Chris Zambelis argues the Islamic State carried out the attack in part to bolster its recruitment and fundraising efforts—and one-up al Qa`ida—as it pivots from territory control to global terrorism. Michael Horton examines the enduring threat posed by the Islamic State’s local affiliate in the Sinai, arguing counterproductive tactics by the Egyptian government risk provoking a broader insurgency. In a study based on comprehensive data on those arrested in Spain for terrorism crimes maintained by the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid that has wide implications for the understanding of radicalization processes across Western countries, Fernando Reinares, Carola García-Calvo, and Álvaro Vicente find that jihadi radicalization in Spain has been driven by two key factors of “differential association,” namely contact with radicalizing agents and pre-existing social ties with other radicalized individuals.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Insurgency, Counter-terrorism, Radicalization, Islamic State, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Spain, Egypt, Raqqa
  • Author: Hamid Bouyahi
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: Most of the analysis of the Arab spring revolved around the immediate causes of the events and the role of social media in spreading the protests, in countries that succeeded in toppling their regimes. For this reason, this study adopts a different approach to tackle the long-term development of the Political opportunity structures that set the grounds for the emergence of these movements. To avoid the bias of focusing only on movements that succeeded, the paper compares the conditions of the emergence of the Egyptian movement that toppled the Mubarak regime in eighteen days, to the Moroccan movement that faded after a year of weekly protests. Instead of discussing the immediate context in which the movements appeared, or the course of events that the movements followed, the paper adopts a historical approach to review the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial historical, economic and political developments that created different structures of opportunity and threat in each of the two countries.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Arab Spring, Colonialism, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: North Africa, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Sherene Seikaly
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Arab Studies Journal
  • Institution: Arab Studies Institute
  • Abstract: The Arab world and the broader Middle East offer profound lessons on the inextricability of knowledge and power. In the midst of civil war, foreign intervention, and ongoing occupation, those of us who study the Middle East or call it home confront two realities at once. On the one hand are the conditions of everyday life that range from the constrained to the unbearable. On the other are the increasingly confined possibilities of producing knowledge on these conditions. To grasp these two realities, we have only to glance at the kind of fire, sometimes live, scholars and students have come under in the last few months alone. In January, the Turkish Higher Education Council condemned a petition that scholars in solidarity with the Kurdish region signed as “terrorist propaganda.” University rectors immediately began taking punitive measures: launching investigations against and suspending scholars who were signatories. This is in addition to the prosecutions and criminal investigations scholars are facing for expressing their opinion on social media.
  • Topic: Communism, Human Rights, Socialism/Marxism, Intellectual History, Transitional Justice, Feminism, Justice, Reconciliation , Leftist Politics, The Press
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Dov S. Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: In consideration of the general instability in the Middle East – the bloody Syrian civil war and its mounting refugee crisis, the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the emergence of ISIL and ongoing fighting in Iraq, and the war in Yemen – the author argues that the geographical map of the region based on the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement is disintegrating. Furthermore, the author argues that the region’s turmoil has to some extent had a spillover effect on the three non-Arab states – Turkey, Iran, and Israel, which further adds troubles to the region. While Israel is largely an outlier, the author posits that Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will be embroiled in the “increasingly bitter contest for dominance of the Muslim Middle East.”
  • Topic: Civil War, Imperialism, Regional Cooperation, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Sabri Sayari
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Middle East policy under the AKP government – in particular, its stance on Syria and the fight against ISIL – has had a damaging effect on not only its 60-year-old alliance with the US, but also its regional standing. The author chronicles several of the government’s blunders, arguing that they ultimately stem from a “fundamental miscalculation of Turkey’s power and capacity to shape regional developments.” From the government’s misplaced confidence in Bashar al-Assad’s regime and subsequent radical reversal in its Syria policy, to its sectarian approach to the region and support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to its deteriorated relationship with Israel, the author contends that Turkey has succeeded only in further alienating itself.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, ISIL
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Liina Mustonen
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The campaign against the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood during its short-lived rule instrumentalized the notion of gender equality for political purposes – namely demonizing the Brotherhood and the subsequent overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi. Narratives were constructed along the dichotomy of emancipated Egyptian woman and oppressed, traditional women. However, there has been a rapid de- politicization of the discussion on women’s role in society following Morsi’s ouster. The author argues that the absence of a debate on the patriarchal structures of the political and military forces that have substituted Morsi’s rule reveals the hollowness and political nature of these gendered discourses.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Military Affairs, Conservatism, Feminism, Oppression
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Zuri Linetsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the summer 2014 Gaza War Israel, Hamas, and the P.A. agreed to meet in Cairo, Egypt to discuss a long-term ceasefire. The goal of this summit was to allow for Gaza to rebuild itself, and for political changes associated with June's Unity Government deal between the P.A. and Hamas to take effect. The summit has since been postponed. However, Gaza still requires significant financial and material aid in order to function and provide for its people. This work examines the economic and security benefits to all parties involved of a long-term ceasefire between Israel, and Hamas. An economically open Gaza benefits Israel, the P.A. and Hamas, with few associated costs and creates an opportunity to reinvigorate final status negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Jennifer Rowland, Nada Zohdy, Brian Katulis, Michael Wahid Hanna, Faysal Itani, Muhammad Y. Idris, Joelle Thomas, Tamirace Fakhoury, Farouk El-Baz, Kheireddine Bekkai, Amira Maaty, Sarah McKnight
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Our Spring 2015 volume captures the troubling developments of the past year in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2014, the Syrian conflict that has so beguiled the international community spilled over into Iraq, with the swift and shocking rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). ISIS is causing the ever-complex alliances in the region to shift in peculiar ways. In Iraq, US airstrikes provide cover for Iranian-backed militias fighting ISIS; while in Yemen, the United States supports a Saudi intervention against a different Iranianbacked armed group that has taken control of the Yemeni capital. Meanwhile, simmering political disputes in Libya escalated into a full-blown civil war, sparking concern in neighboring Egypt, where the old authoritarian order remains in control despite the country’s popular revolution. The Gulf countries contemplate their responses to record-low oil prices, continuing negotiations between the United States and Iran, and the threat of ISIS. And Tunisia remains one of the region’s only bright spots. In November, Tunisians voted in the country’s first free and fair presidential elections. This year’s Journal brings new analysis to many of these complex events and broader regional trends. We begin with the positive: an exclusive interview with former Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. In this year’s feature articles: Brian Katulis zooms out to assess the Obama administration’s record in the Middle East over the past six years; Michael Wahid Hanna refutes the notion that the Iraqi and Syrian borders will need to be redrawn as a result of ISIS’ takeover; and Faysal Itani analyzes the US coalition’s strategy to defeat ISIS, arguing that it cannot succeed without empowering Sunni civilians. Muhammed Idris and Joelle Thomas turn to economics in an assessment of the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to go green. Tamirace Fakhoury points out a blind spot in the study of the Middle East and North Africa: how large diaspora communities affect political dynamics in their home countries. Farouk El-Baz takes us to Egypt, where he proposes a grand economic plan to pull the country out of poverty and set it on a path toward longterm growth. From Egypt, we move west to the oft-neglected country of Algeria, where Kheireddine Bekkai argues for more inclusive education policies on national identity. Finally, Amira Maaty comments on the region’s desperate need for robust civil societies, while Sarah McKnight calls for improvements in Jordan’s water policies.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Environment, Migration, History, Natural Resources, Social Movement, Islamic State, Economy, Political stability, Arab Spring, Military Intervention, Identities, Diversification
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Algeria, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: Faduma Abukar Mursal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: The concept of diaspora has attracted much attention in the scholarly debate on migration, and has also entered into public discourse, even being appropriated by migrants themselves. For instance, the term diasborada is now part of the Somali vocabulary, referring not only to a named phenomenon integral to Somali realities but to a particular group of people. It refers specifically to Somali migrants who have mobilized themselves as a political formation under the label “diaspora” to negotiate their role as agents of social change. Further, claims of Somali migrants have gained recognition in Somalia, where people apply this social category to them. This process of claim making and recognition of the diaspora is pervaded with a seemingly universalist discourse which addresses all migrants outside a “homeland.” Yet, naming and claim making processes are situated within power relations, which involve ways of silencing some migrants and making them invisible and which, therefore, require careful attention. The statement quoted above, made by Hassan, a Somali refugee who has been living in Cairo for the last few years, is an example of voice who resist the discourse of “diaspora.” Although Hassan lives outside of Somalia, he denies being a member of the so-called diaspora, a term that he associates more specifically with Somali migrants living in the global North, that is, in “the other abroad.” Drawing on four months of ethnographic fieldwork among Somali forced migrants in Cairo in 2013, this paper illustrates one way in which the term of diaspora is used by forced migrants and analyzes the meaning it takes in a particular setting. The next section presents briefly ways in which the concept of diaspora has been framed in scholarly discussions, emphasizing the recent trend of conceptualizing the diaspora as a political project. In line with Kleist's (2008a) suggestion that diaspora is a “concept of a political nature that might be at once claimed by and attributed to different groups and subjects” (2008a:307, emphasis in original), this paper explores the construction of the category of diaspora from the perspective of forced migrants. Following that, a brief history of Somali migration to Egypt is provided as a backdrop for presenting varying profiles of Somali migrants living in Cairo today. In this old and densely populated city, the figure of the forced migrant is constructed as the opposite of the “Somali Westerner”—that is, the Somali who has acquired citizenship in a western country. The third section of the paper shows how Somali forced migrants in Cairo earns a living and which solidarity networks they are part of. This will help to explain why Somali forced migrants contrast the precarious conditions of their lives with those of Somali Westerners. The last section explores the ways in which my informants in Cairo, in their everyday practices and encounters with Somali Westerners, refuse to apply the term “diaspora” to themselves. Indeed, the informants established a distinction between them as Somali forced migrants and the diaspora, that are Somali Westerners who are associated with mobility, economic, and social agency. Disavowing any connection to the category of diaspora allows them to exclude themselves from public discourse mobilizing the “diaspora” as part of the country's economic development. Moreover, this distinction allows them to address the Somali state and present themselves as particular group of citizens who have particular needs, for example the improvement of life conditions in Egypt and the negotiation of the conditions for return.
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Somalia
  • Author: Valerie Morkevicius
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has generated a variety of responses from the West. While broad political support was voiced for uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, the responses to protests in Bahrain and Morocco were muted. The swift decision to intervene in Libya stands in marked contrast to the ongoing hand-wringing on Syria. While political realists might see these contradictions as evidence that geopolitical concerns determine foreign policy, from an ethical point of view these responses also reveal a fundamental tension in Western thinking about rebellion. On one hand, rebellion is viewed with a distrustful eye—as a disruptive, chaotic force that threatens to destroy the day-to-day order on which civilization is built. On the other, rebellion is perceived more optimistically—as a regenerative, creative force that can leave a better civilization in its wake. These two radically disparate ways of thinking about rebellion have deep philosophical and theological roots. The pessimistic view has historically dominated just war thought, as James Turner Johnson's contribution to this roundtable illustrates; whereas the perspective of Enlightenment liberalism offers a more optimistic judgment, as found, for example, in the works of Locke and Rousseau.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Burhan Wazir
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Middle East is a landscape littered with unrealized peace treaties, broken promises and failed intentions. In the four years since uprisings and reprisals took hold of Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Oman and Tunisia, two diplomatic constants have dominated: The limited influence of American power, and a dearth of leadership in the region. Political intransigence and sectarian violence weren't always the norm in the Middle East. Lawrence Wright's new book, Thirteen Days in September, chronicles an era, almost four decades ago, when compromise was considered an asset. Over 13 days at Camp David in Maryland in 1978, US President Jimmy Carter was able to extract a peace treaty from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. The accord is still the most lasting achievement to emerge from the Arab-Israeli conflict of the 20th century.
  • Topic: Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Oman
  • Author: Michael Wahid Hanna
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: CAIRO—During a private conversation following Egypt's bitterly contested and closely fought presidential election of 2012, a Western diplomat marveled, naively, at the multitudes of veiled women who had come out to support the old regime's candidate, the avowedly anti-Islamist figure of Ahmed Shafik. It was during this campaign that strongly held anti-Islamist themes were aired widely and used to mount a campaign against the potent, often bigoted, Muslim Brotherhood. Many of these same views were advanced in support of the military's removal of the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, victorious candidate for the presidency and, with his electoral victory, successor to President Hosni Mubarak.
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Mahmoud Salem
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: CAIRO, Egypt—As a child of the 1980s, I grew up watching science fiction television shows and movies—all set in the "not-so-distant future." Holographic communication, teleportation, and flying cars were central tenets of that universe. And while I marveled at the prospect of these technologies, I was most fascinated by the "magical technological device"—that could be used to complete any task, from basic communication to dissemination of news to national security. Though I later learned that this device was nothing more than a plot twist used to advance these stories, I gained something quite special from this twist—a belief in the promise of the future.
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Shadi Hamid, Peter Mandaville
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has been all too common to criticize the Obama administration for a lack of strategic vision in responding to the Arab uprisings. While such criticism may be valid, it is time to move beyond critique and articulate not just a bold vision, but one that policymakers can realistically implement within very real economic and political constraints. During the remainder of its second term, the Obama administration has an opportunity to rethink some of the flawed assumptions that guided its Middle East policy before the Arab Spring—and still guide it today. Chief among these is the idea that the United States can afford to continue turning a blind eye to the internal politics of Arab countries so long as local regimes look out for a narrow set of regional security interests. With so much policy bandwidth focused on putting out fires, the United States has neglected the important task of thinking about its longer term engagement in the region. Crisis management is the most immediate concern for policymakers, but it's not necessarily the most important.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Libya, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Erica Frantz, Andre Kendall-Taylor
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Because autocrats can rarely be voted out of power, most find themselves exiting office in far less conventional ways. Since the 1950s, the coup d'état—or the illegal seizure of power by the military—has been by far the most common. During the 1960s and '70s, for example, about half of all autocrats who lost power did so through a coup. But fast-forward to the 2010s, and a different picture is emerging. The chain of protests during the Arab Awakening, which toppled four of the world's longest-standing rulers—Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen—led many political observers to rejoice in the masses' ability to unseat autocratic strongmen. But are these revolts evidence that autocrats are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the masses? Or are they short-term exceptions to a longer-standing rule of autocratic ouster?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Libya, Yemen, Egypt
  • Author: Lisa Anteby-Yemeni
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Israël, souvent présenté comme un pays aux frontières hermétiques, en particulier médiatisées par la construction du Mur de séparation avec les Territoires palestiniens, possède également une frontière longue de 220 km avec l'Egypte, qui semble, quant à elle, fort poreuse à bien des égards. Il existe encore peu de travaux sur cette frontière, bien que cette dernière suscite un intérêt croissant depuis quelques années, avec le passage clandestin de migrants économiques et de demandeurs d'asile, mais aussi en raison de l'intensification de trafics d'êtres humains.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Ruben Tuitel
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Sinai Peninsula has been a center of conflict for many years, starting with the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. After Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, it became a peaceful region, strongly controlled by the military during Hosni Mubarak's rule in Cairo. Now, after several years of non-violence, the Sinai Peninsula is once again the center of a complicated conflict. Heavy protests across Egypt in 2011 forced Hosni Mubarak to step down from the presidency, creating a security vacuum in the Sinai that allowed radical Islamists to almost freely operate in the region. During the months that followed, insurgent groups grew in number, recruiting frustrated Bedouin who have been neglected by the Egyptian government for years.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: A. Kadir Yildirim
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Egypt's democratization efforts require domestic and international considerations: Domestically, the country must focus on the economy at the expense of the military's political role: While military involvement in politics is crucial to democratization, improvements in this area represents an outcome, not the cause, of the process. Discussions should concentrate on protecting lower- and middle classes, generate prosperity and create common ground between democracy and class interests. At the international level, Egypt requires countries to support democratization efforts and condemn extra-democratic actions. Meanwhile, the prominence of Islamists causes concerns for Western governments with regard to the Peace Treaty and Israel's security.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Ahmet Uysal
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey is achieved a viable combination of Islam, democracy and development. After prolonged periods of political instability and interruptions in democratic rule, the Islamic-leaning AK Party government overcame the hurdles preventing it from reaching power in the early 2000s. It achieved a significant degree of democratization and economic growth without oil or foreign aid and repeatedly won elections ever since. As such, the party's success offers important lessons for Islamists in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. The lessons of the Turkish experience are especially relevant in dealing with the opposition and democratization, as well as achieving stability and growth.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Muzaffer Senel
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THE CONTINUITIES, changes, ruptures, and transformation of Egyptian foreign policy have been analyzed from different angles. The changes in Egyptian foreign policy, in line with the Arab Spring and its transformative forces, were important for analysts, practitioners, and scholars working on both foreign policy and International Relations theory. Since the end of the Cold War, academia has become more receptive to the issues of the Middle East. However, in the last decade most work on the Middle East have revolved around a limited number of themes: ethnic/religious-based violence, the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Iranian nuclear issue, and problems related to Israel. Despite the prolific amount of literature on the foreign policies of Arab Middle Eastern countries, many of these works lack a theoretical analysis of the geostrategic positioning of these countries within the dynamics of international political power. Geostrategic positioning helps measure the possible weight of a country within the existing interna-tional and regional system, which leads to the analysis of what role a country can play in international politics. Mehmet Özkan's book is a timely addition to this literature with its in-depth analytical historical analysis and theoretical angle.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Mark Perry
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Fire is both the symbol of revolution and its most potent weapon. Much like the American Revolution and other key historic events, the Arab Spring began with fire when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight to protest his treatment by police. Ever since the Arab Spring's onset, experts have debated about its eventual conclusion and concentrated on major forces, including the army and the clergy. The future of the revolutions, however, rests with the masses in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. The uprisings marked deep and irreversible changes in the Arab world and will inevitably entail future repercussions. For onlookers, the best policy is not to interfere, but to let the fire burn.
  • Topic: Islam, History
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Azzam Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: During the months leading up to July 3, 2013, the state of Egypt mirrored that of Chile 40 years ago. What Egypt's Mohamed Mursi and Chile's Salvador Allende shared was the misfortune of coming to power with a relatively large majority and an adamant refusal to surrender. While there is no evidence of U.S. involvement in the process, America and its allies in the European Union have refrained from calling what happened in Egypt a coup. Egypt – much like Chile – will likely return to the path of democracy, though after considerable time and effort, and a projected roadmap that will likely generate further economic hardship and instability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Egypt, Chile
  • Author: Maria Cristina Paciello
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Two years after the popular mobilisations in Egypt and Tunisia of early 2011, post-uprising authorities, including the Islamist parties that came to power, have failed to deliver on the demands for social justice that triggered those protests. They have responded to past and present socio-economic challenges by adopting measures that are in clear continuity with previous regimes and lacking any coherent long-term vision of economic reform. Indeed, albeit with differences between the two countries, post-uprising authorities, lacking experience and competence, have not fully broken with the old system in reconfiguring power relations within and outside state institutions and have continued to adopt a top-down approach to economic decision-making.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Daniela Pioppi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This article aims to analyse and evaluate the post-Mubarak politics of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in an attempt to explain its swift political parable from the heights of power to one of the worst waves of repression in the movement's history. In order to do so, the analysis will start with the period before the'25th of January Revolution'. This is because current events cannot be correctly under-stood without moving beyond formal politics to the structural evolution of the Egyptian system of power before and after the 2011 uprising. In the second and third parts of this article, Egypt's still unfinished' post-revolutionary' political transition is then examined. It is divided into two parts: 1) the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)-led phase from February 2011 up to the presidential elections in summer 2012; and 2) the MB-led phase that ended with the military takeover in July 2013 and the ensuing violent crackdown on the Brotherhood.
  • Political Geography: South America, Egypt
  • Author: Robert D. Springborg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Turkish model deemed most relevant to 2011-12 post-Mubarak Egypt was the Islamist-led transformation of the polity and economy that occurred following the rise to power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the 2002 general election. As it transpired, this version of the Turkish model lasted but one year before another took its place. That model was the political project of the Turkish military that seized power in September 1980. This thirty-one year old Turkish model of a constitutionally empowered executive body, controlled by the military appears to have trumped the contemporary, Islamist one in Egypt. But the Turkish military coup of 1980 unwittingly and unintentionally laid the groundwork for the transition that ultimately swept it from power and its leaders into jail. The pertinent question then is will Egypt's civilian political and economic actors be similarly and sufficiently astute to exploit the opportunities they inevitably will have even under military rule? Egyptian political forces will inevitably mount serious challenges as they did in Turkey. In Egypt, however, the domestic and regional political and economic contexts are so different from those in Turkey that the outcome of the struggle for power between civilians and the military are likely to deviate substantially from this Turkish model.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Egypt
  • Author: Arno Tausch
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article evaluates Arab public opinion with the "Arab Opinion Index" by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Doha, Qatar. The Index covers 12 Arab countries with 85 percent of the population of the entire Arab world. The data was weighted by UNDP population figures in order to arrive at conclusions about the totality of opinions in the Arab states. There is indeed overwhelming support for democracy and change in the region, but, at the same time, the data imply real basic weaknesses of civil society support for the structures of democracy.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: M. Cherif Bassiouni
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: On January 25, 2011, the Egyptian people took to the streets and in 18 days were able to bring down the 30-year corrupt dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak, using entirely peaceful means. That revolution set the Arab Republic of Egypt on a hopeful path to democracy. After Mubarak resigned, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) became the custodian of the transition. In June of 2012, in Egypt's first free and fair presidential election, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi was elected President. Slightly more than 50 percent of registered voters actually voted, and those voters gave Morsi a majority of just less than 52 percent. Having won by this slim margin, Morsi was sworn in as President on June 30, 2012, and thus the Second Republic came to be. He was removed by the military on July 3, 2013 and a temporary President, Adly Mansour, was appointed on July 4, 2013. Thus began the Third Republic.
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: FOR SCHOLARS INTERESTED IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, particularly religious - based movements, what is taking place in the Middle East is historical - an Islamist moment par excellence. Islamists or religio - political forces are poised to take ownership of the seats of power in a number of Arab countries in the coming years. They have already won majorities of parliamentary seats in Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco, and will probably make further gains in others after the dust settles on the Arab uprisings.
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: David A. Andelman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: For as long as there has been a need for security, there has been a parallel and equally pressing need for secrecy. Imagine the Trojan Horse unmasked before it was hauled into Troy. Or the flight from Egypt by Moses and the Israelites uncovered by the Pharaoh's agents. More recently imagine D-Day and the first Omaha Beach landing point revealed to Hitler's stormtroopers or the veil lifted on Japan's plans for Pearl Harbor. How history might have been transformed at each turn. Today, at the heart of many vicious political battles, lie a host of critical issues swirling around such paired and critical needs—security, or the need to safeguard our societies, our fortunes and our very lives; and secrecy in the interest of securing our present and future. Overhanging both priorities is the ultimate question of how much freedom we must be prepared to surrender to assure that the very soul of our democratic systems remain. In our fall cover theme, World Policy Journal seeks to address these efforts to balance competing priorities as they unfold.
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: AT FIRST GLANCE the contents of this issue of the Journal appear disparate, ranging as they do over the Israeli settlement project, Tony Blair's tenure as Quartet Middle East representative, the role of Islamic Jihad, and the effect of recent upheavals in the Arab world on the Palestinian issue. But taken as a whole they show how much the contemporary Middle East-with the Palestine question at its center-is in dialogue with its history. Although history may not repeat itself, there are nevertheless striking parallels and linkages between past and current events.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Augustus Richard Norton
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Arab awakening augurs the return of political contestation to key Arab societies in which little more than token opposition had been tolerated. Unfolding experiments in democratisation in which Islamically-oriented parties are leading players are underway but the prospects for the consolidation of stable political systems in key countries, such as Egypt or Syria are problematic. These developments have hastened a new regional balance of power in which Saudi Arabia and its allies have sought to stem the tide of change as well as thwart the hegemonial ambitions of Iran. Persistent issues, particularly the Israel-Palestine conflict, remain unresolved and have a powerful grip on the conscience of the Arab world. Key external powers, especially the United States, confront not only stubborn familiar issues but also a host of new strategic, economic, diplomatic and military challenges.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Philipp O. Amour
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: In December 2010, a revolutionary spark in Tunisia initiated what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. Since then, many countries across the broader Middle East have been swept up in uprisings that have led to fundamental shifts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The same drive for change has also led to minor changes in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Ufiem Maurice Ogbonnaya
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring, a pro-democracy uprising which has been sweeping through North Africa and the entire Arab world since 2010, has been described as a cataclysmic revolutionary wave that has seen the over-throw of numerous political regimes in its wake. This has had great impacts on the political developments and democratic governance in the Arab world in particular and the world in general. Though the political, environmental and socio-economic factors and variables that resulted in and sustained the revolutions in the affected states appear similar in nature, they vary from one country to the other. Using the MO Ibrahim Foundation Index, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index among others on selected indicators, this paper draws a comparative analysis of the key factors and variables that gave rise to the Arab Spring. The paper focuses particularly on the North African countries of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Findings show that the inability of governments in these affected states to respond adequately to the growing demands of political inclusion, good governance, job creation and policies of inclusive growth played fundamental roles in awakening the people's consciousness, resulting in the revolutions. This paper recommends the institutionalization of participatory and multiparty democracy and the implementation of people-oriented policies such as job creation and the introduction of poverty reduction programmes among others, as a means of sustaining the success of the revolutions.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ayfer Erdogan
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: The last two years have witnessed an unexpected series of events unfolding in the Arab World leading us to make comparisons with the fall of Communism in 1989. Developments in the Middle East and North Africa made headway at a rapid pace. The overthrow of governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the civil war in Libya and the ongoing inner conflicts in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen were just as unexpected and stunning as the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. It is ironic that many observers attempting to make sense of these events have chosen the term 'Arab Spring' to define this movement, which somehow recalls the Eastern European analogue 'Prague Spring' in 1968. Many political scientists and analysts viewed these events taking the fall of Communism as a common point of reference. The Arab Spring is reminiscent of the Eastern European Revolutions in 1989 in many respects, yet a deeper analysis shows that significant similarities are outweighed by key differences. This paper attempts to address the recent wave of democratization which has swept across the Arab world in a comparative context and discuss the similarities and differences between the Arab Spring in 2011 and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Eastern Europe, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain
  • Author: Sean Foley
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: What was the intellectual vision that led to the Arab Spring and what are its roots? This article investigates how that vision took shape in the years immediately before the Arab Spring through the work of poets and popular Arab singers like Hamza Namira and Maher Zain. It argues that the vision in art and politics mirrored the desire of many Arabs and Muslims to find new ways to solve the challenges plaguing their societies. The vision also reflected a) how the downturn in the global economy after 2008 combined with major environmental changes to galvanize millions to act in the Arab World b) how social media and new communications tools helped to mobilize dissent and to limit the ability of governments to effectively repress their populations. More than two years after the Arab Spring began in late 2010 the movements it spawned are radically reconstructing societies in the Middle East. They are also undermining some of the basic assumptions of the international system, many of which have been in place since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Elizabeth Bishop
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: Citizens of the Arab Middle East have taken part in a wave of democracy movements; in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia at least, their protests have resulted in regime change. Drawing on Michel Foucault's personal experiences in one of these countries, and informed by his concept of “biopolitics,” this essay connects Egyptians' current liberation struggle with their earlier revolution in 1952, in order to compare these experiences with Iraqis' 1958 Tammuz revolution. Were new social media as important, as the level of funding dedicated to the military? And what is the role of diplomacy in a revolutionary moment?
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Egypt
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The overthrow of the Mubarak regime in Egypt in February 2011 unleashed Islamist forces there to the point that the Muslim Brotherhood took over the presidency, parliament, and writing of the new constitution within the next 18 months. While the Brotherhood was the strongest single force in Egypt, the number-two slot was held not by liberals, moderates, or secularists but by the even more radical Islamist groups called Salafists. Who are the Salafists and what is their strategy and ideology?
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: While the ruling Muslim Brotherhood has received a great deal of attention in Egypt, the varied Salafi groups have been far less studied. At times allies and at times rivals of the Brotherhood, the Salafists are widely varied. Whether the two groups can cooperate will determine the future of Islamist rule in Egypt. The Salafists pull the Brotherhood to take stronger action more immediately and may have faith in the larger organization or consider it to have betrayed the revolution. Moreover, the Salafists operate with a wide deal of autonomy, being able to take extra-parliamentary action ranging from terrorist armed struggle to violent attacks on Christians and other opponents of the regime. The fact that there are now four competing Salafi parties shows the different streams of ideology and strategy. This article was written prior to the army action, but still shows how the Salafists are organized and their different camps.
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Jonathan Spyer
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article will observe the process whereby Hamas has consolidated and maintained its rule in Gaza. It will argue that the gradual strengthening of the Gaza leadership within Hamas preceded the upheavals of 2011. The fallout from the events in Egypt and Syria, however, served to accelerate and accentuate the process whereby the Gaza leadership made gains at the expense of the external leadership.
  • Political Geography: Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: For Westerners, Egypt's revolution is seen as a wonderful development, a victory for democracy. Yet the enemies of America and the West view it is a defeat for the United States and the West, and as a step forward for anti-democratic revolutionary Islamism. It is possible that both sides could be right. Egypt may be both a democracy and no longer an ally of America or a source of regional stability. This might mean happiness for the Egyptians and problems for Western interests. Yet the success of Egypt's democratic experiment may not happen and Egyptians could end up suffering even more.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Egypt