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  • Author: Adel Abdel Ghafar
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The role played by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Eastern Mediterranean is becoming increasingly important. This calls for an assessment of their evolving relationship with countries in the region, as well as their involvement in the Libyan conflict. Increased involvement by Gulf actors may inflame existing regional rivalries and geopolitical tensions. The interests of GCC countries in the Eastern Mediterranean are first analysed in the broader context of regional rivalries. Special attention is then devoted to Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Greece and Cyprus, while considering the role of other key regional actors such as Turkey and Israel. Recommendations on why and how the new US administration should intervene to decrease regional tensions are provided.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gulf Nations, Geopolitics, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Greece, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Georgeta Vidican Auktor, Markus Loewe
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Budgetary constraints forced Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia to reduce energy and food subsidy after 2010 but they applied different strategies, thereby transforming their existing, quite akin social contracts into different new ones delivering more protection, provision or participation for citizens.
  • Topic: Reform, Social Contract, Participation, Subsidies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Sherif Mohyeldeen
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Along the Egypt-Sudan border, tensions have been rising for several decades despite limited efforts at cooperation. Both countries need to reexamine their border policies to prevent further escalation. Since Sudan’s independence in 1956, its border relations with Egypt have been characterized more by mutual suspicion than by peaceful exchange. This legacy has been exacerbated over the decades by myriad obstacles and conflicts, particularly over the disputed Halayeb triangle, even if both sides did try to improve relations after Egypt’s uprising in 2011. Border communities, suffering from this reality, have pushed for improved ties, but mistrust has prevailed to the detriment of both countries.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, History, Borders
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Zeinab Abul-Magd, İsmet Akça, Shana Marshall
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egyptian and Turkish military businesses have used their institutional privileges to dominate their respective economies, but they have key differences. Turkey’s military businesses are centrally managed while Egypt’s use multiple complex conglomerates. In recent years, Turkish and Egyptian military institutions have followed divergent paths in their respective states. After many decades of full or partial control over the government, the Turkish military today is largely marginalized in politics. By contrast, after periods of exclusion from power, the Egyptian military is now in full control of the state. Despite these differences, both military institutions are powerful economic actors within their states. They have developed extensive civilian economic enterprises over the decades, dominating important sectors by capitalizing on their political influence, legal and regulatory privileges unique to their enterprises, and opportunities provided by market liberalization.
  • Topic: Government, Economy, Business , Liberalization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This paper scans the interests and activities of Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt in the Mediterranean Basin – their varying and competing interests, their points of convergence and cooperation, and the challenges and opportunities for Israel. The paper is based on the main points raised at the third meeting of the working group on Israel in the Mediterranean, held in September 2019 in the Herzliya offices of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung at the initiative of the Mitvim Institute, the Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center. The paper shines a spotlight on key elements in regional relationships and significant activity taking place in the Mediterranean Basin, which Israel must consider in formulating and executing policy. It is based on the presentations and discussions conducted at the event and does not reflect agreement among all participants.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Haim Koren
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Since President Abdel Fatah a-Sisi’s rise to power in 2014, Israeli-Egyptian ties have been marked by defense-strategic cooperation. This is based on the shared perception of Iran and radical Islamist terror organizations as a threat, and the common interest in managing the Palestinian issue, in general, and specifically the Gaza arena. In the inherent tension between ideology and national interests, Egypt continues to strive for an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians (Fatah, Hamas and the other Palestinian factions) and seeks to bring about internal Palestinian reconciliation beforehand (between the leaderships in Ramallah and Gaza). Its role as a key mediator between Hamas and Israel is crucial, and is in line with Egypt’s international standing as an important regional leader.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Yitzhak Gal, Haim Koren, Moran Zaga, Einat Levi, Ronen Zeidel
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israel-Jordan: Continued Deterioration / Yitzhak Gall Israel-Egypt: Strategic Warming, Civilian Coolness? / Dr. Haim Koren; Israel-UAE: Warming Relations, Also in Civilian Affairs/ Dr. Moran Zaga; Israel-Morocco: Warming from the Bottom Up / Einat Levi; Israel-Iraq: Security Challenges and Civilian Warming / Dr. Ronen Zeidel
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Public Opinion, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, UAE
  • Author: Michael Barak
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: Since mid-June, there have been growing social media protests by residents of the city of Port Said, Egypt against the mayor's intention to reposition the statue of de Lesseps (1805-1894), a French engineer and statesman who initiated and led the Suez Canal excavation project. In their view, the statue symbolizes European colonialism and denigrates the blood of the Egyptian people who scarified their lives in a war against the oppressive colonialist enemy. The discourse reflects an ideological struggle over the interpretation of symbols and monuments in the public sphere and corresponds with similar protests that have taken place recently in several Western countries, with the resumption of riots against the murder of George Floyd, which highlights the phenomenon of tearing down statues identified as symbols of oppression.
  • Topic: History, Social Media, Colonialism, Protests
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Port Said
  • Author: Joshua Krasna
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In the latest edition of Tel Aviv Notes, Joshua Krasna examines the regional implications of Chevron's purchase of Noble Energy for Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Gas, Economy, Business
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Alex Walsh
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The 2011 Egyptian protests started in earnest nine years ago on National Police Day on 25 January, a holiday that Hosni Mubarak had introduced to commemorate Egyptian police officers killed and wounded by British colonial forces in 1952. Protesters upended the original meaning of the holiday to turn it into a symbol of police brutality and corruption under Mubarak. In the drama of the 18 days that followed, Egypt’s internal security apparatus fought the protesters in the streets, delivering one shocking provocation after another, galvanizing the protest movement and ultimately contributing to the removal of Mubarak. Since 2011, the police and internal security forces of many countries in the Arab world have been at the centre of the conflicts and struggles that shape the region for better and for worse. Recent and ongoing encounters between protestors and police in the streets of Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria and Sudan are a stark reminder that the police are more than just a proxy target for a protestation of the state. They are also the object of much anger both as a grouping, and in terms of the concept of policing and social control they embody. The impact of this sustained contestation of police behaviour and doctrine in the region deserves reflection. Has the police and policing changed in the Arab world? And if so, in what ways? This paper maps out some of the main modes in which the police and policing have been contested since 2011, and provides a preliminary assessment of its impact. It argues that mass mobilised contestation has only been successful in the instance where institutional reform followed. It notes that hybridisation of policing – where informal security actors cooperate and challenge formal security actors – has spread in many countries but that the concept of state security – with its emphasis on the state over citizens – continues to prevail across the region. Indeed, almost a decade after that fateful 25 January 2011, many of the aspirations of citizens protesting the police are far from realised, even while there are some promising developments.
  • Topic: Protests, Repression, Police, Police State
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Nadine Abdalla
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Various forms of local activism in Egypt are challenging the shortcomings in local governance and the lack of any developmental urban vision. This paper examines three examples from different neighbourhoods in Giza and Cairo. All three share the goal of resisting exclusionary policies while trying to overcome the absence of political means to register their frustrations given the absence of local councils since 2011.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Arab Spring, Urban, Local
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Cairo, Giza
  • Author: Ishac Diwan, Nadim Houry, Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Egypt’s recent security and macro-economic stabilization has been built on weak foundations and Covid-19 has further exposed this fragility. Egypt is now back to a situation broadly similar to that before the 2011 revolution: stable on the surface, but with deep structural problems and simmering social grievances, and little buffers to mitigate them. This paper argues for a major shift in the ways the country is currently governed in favour of greater openness in politics and markets, and for the international community to seriously engage Egypt on the need to reform economically and politically.
  • Topic: Security, Arab Spring, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Defne Günay
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: According to the International Panel on Climate Change, climate change will affect the rivers leading to the Mediterranean, desertification will increase, rise in sea level will affect coastal settlements, and crop productivity will decrease in the region. Therefore, climate change is an important issue for the Mediterranean region. The European Union (EU) is a frontrunner in climate change policy, committing itself to a decarbonized economy by 2050. The EU also promotes climate action in the world through its climate diplomacy. Such EU action in promoting the norm of climate action can be explained with reference to EU’s economic interests. In this paper, I analyse whether the EU serves its economic interests by promoting climate action in its neighbourhood policy towards Egypt. Based on documentary analysis, this paper argues that European companies benefitted from the market-based solutions adopted by the Kyoto Protocol in Egypt, exported renewable energy technologies to Egypt and face a level-playing field in terms of regulations promoted for them by the EU in Egypt.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, European Union, Regulation, Economy, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Egypt, Mediterranean
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Trafficking in persons has become a multibillion dollar business in Africa that African governments have been slow to address.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Children, Women, Slavery, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Burundi, Eritrea, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mediterranean
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A surge of attacks in the Sahel coupled with declines in activity by Boko Haram, ISIS, and al Shabaab reflect the constantly shifting threats posed by militant Islamist groups in Africa.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt, Somalia, Mali, Sahel
  • Author: Thomas Renard
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The conflict in Syria and Iraq has mobilised an unprecedented number of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). More than 50,000 individuals travelled to the Levant to join jihadi groups. While fighters have flocked from virtually every corner of the world, a significant contingent came from North Africa. This has created an unprecedented challenge for individual countries, as well as for the broader Maghreb and Mediter- ranean regions. The ‘Caliphate’ has now been defeated with the loss of its remaining territories. While many people were killed, thousands of fighters and family members are either in detention in Syria or in Iraq – or still on the run. Authorities worldwide are contem- plating – or should be contemplating – the possible return of these fighters in the short to medium term and how to deal with them. In fact, more than a thousand North African fighters have already returned home since 2012. Following this unprecedented number of jihadi volunteers, countries must now handle an unprecedented number of jihadi veterans who present a multi-faceted security and societal challenge from prosecution to detention and rehabilitation. Arguably, whether they return or not, some of these fighters are likely to have a lasting effect on the global jihadi movement and on local dynamics in their country of origin. As highlighted in this report, history is a reminder that even small numbers of veteran fighters can have a significant impact on local, regional and global security. There has been a growing amount of research into (returning) foreign fighters recently.1 This research was needed to better understand the phenomenon, either in general terms or at a country-specific level. Most of this research focused on departures rather than returns, and it focused often more on the individual dynamics and motivations rather than on governments’ debates and responses. Yet, as most governments still grapple with returnees, it is important to look into governments’ responses, with a view to opening a discussion and possibly making some recom- mendations. In this report, we have therefore decided to focus on governments’ responses to the issue of returning foreign fighters in North Africa, in light of the unprecedented regional mobilisation. Tunisia, notably, has often been described as the largest provider of foreign fighters to the Levant, or certainly one of its top purveyors. Egypt and Morocco have also seen a significant mobilisation for jihad, justifying their inclu- sion in our study. We offer a comparative analysis of the situation in these three North African countries: Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Such an approach, using similar guidelines for all contributing authors, allows for interesting comparisons between the circum- stances that led to the departure of fighters and the responses to dealing with their return. Contributors were asked to look into domestic perceptions and debates related to the threat from returnees, and the specific policies developed to handle them. They were also asked to compare current perceptions and responses with previous jihadi mobilisations.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Haim Koren
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This article describes the relationship and cooperation between Israel and Egypt, and discusses the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on them. It focuses on the current political and security cooperation between the two countries regarding the Gaza Strip, the fight against terror, the Palestinian issue, the relations with the US administration, and the regional rivalry between Arab Sunni states and Iran. The article emphasizes that when it comes to civil and economic ties between Israel and Egypt, the potential for cooperation has yet to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, there are a few signs for economic cooperation in the areas of natural gas and industry (with the enlargement of the QIZ system), and to some positive change in the public attitude of the Egyptian government towards relations with Israel. The challenges to bolstering Israel-Egypt relations include bureaucratic, economic and politicalsecurity (e.g. the nuclear issue) components. Above all, however, stands the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and the perception of the Egyptian public that normalization with Israel cannot be reached prior to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: For the past two years, Mitvim Institute experts have been studying the changing relations between Israel and key Arab states – Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. They examined the history of Israel’s ties with each of these states; the current level of Israel’s diplomatic, security, economic and civilian cooperation with them; the potential for future cooperation and the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel’s ties in the Middle East. Based on their research and on task-team deliberations, the experts put together a snapshot of the scope of existing and potential cooperation between Israel and key Arab states, as of mid-2019.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: For the past two years, Mitvim Institute experts have been studying the changing relations between Israel and key Arab states – Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. They examined the history of Israel’s ties with each of these states; the current level of Israel’s diplomatic, security, economic and civilian cooperation with them; the potential for future cooperation and the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel’s ties in the Middle East. Based on their research and on task-team deliberations, the experts put together a snapshot of the scope of existing and potential cooperation between Israel and key Arab states, as of mid-2019.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Economy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Nael Shama
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: By examining the events of the Arab uprisings, this paper looks into the nature and dynamics of armies’ responses to popular uprisings. It argues that the outcome of the massive, regime-threatening Arab revolts in 2011 can be assessed by how a military responded to protests: did the army shoot protesters, did it stay idle, or did it largely defect? In light of the rich literature available on the historical experience of the “Arab Spring,” this paper shows that an army’s response to end popular uprisings in authoritarian regimes is determined by several key factors: the military’s level of institutionalization; its relationship to the regime; the degree of the regime’s legitimacy; the amount of international aid it receives; the prospects of foreign intervention; and, finally, the strength of the army’s bond with society and its perception of its own role within society. Additionally, there is a factor often overlooked by scholars; namely, how the military assesses a regime’s capacity to solve the crisis in order to triumph. The paper draws on evidence from the six cases of the 2011 Arab Spring—Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and Tunisia—to illustrate the dynamics of troop loyalty or defection.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Social Movement, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Stéphane Valter
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: This paper presents a study of Egyptian Shiʿism by providing historical context as well as a focus on actual or current issues. The study includes a historical overview of local Shiʿism (Fatimid period, late nineteenth century, 1940s–1960s, and contemporary period); Shiʿi institutions and personalities; the situation following Egypt’s 2011 revolution; the hectic one-year government of the Muslim Brotherhood (2012–2013); President al-Sisi’s authoritarian takeover; and, finally, an exploration of the current geopolitical stakes, focusing mainly on the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran over religious hegemony.
  • Topic: Security, Geopolitics, Shia
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Stéphane Valter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: This paper presents a study of Egyptian Shiʿism by providing historical context as well as a focus on actual or current issues. The study includes a historical overview of local Shiʿism (Fatimid period, late nineteenth century, 1940s–1960s, and contemporary period); Shiʿi institutions and personalities; the situation following Egypt’s 2011 revolution; the hectic one-year government of the Muslim Brotherhood (2012–2013); President al-Sisi’s authoritarian takeover; and, finally, an exploration of the current geopolitical stakes, focusing mainly on the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran over religious hegemony.
  • Topic: Religion, Social Movement, Hegemony, Arab Spring, Shia, Muslim Brotherhood, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ahmed Ezzat
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Egyptian cause lawyers have constituted a strong socio-professional group and successfully used “strategic litigation” to challenge the state’s policies and counter its conservative narratives. With President El-Sissi in power and the security grip over legal institutions and courts, doubts were raised as to whether it still makes sense to go to court against the state over matters of rights and freedoms. By reviewing several emblematic cases, the author analyzes the impact of cause lawyering on mobilization and social movements and how it contributed to reshaping the public sphere, as well as the challenges the cause lawyers’ movement faces under El-Sissi.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Social Movement, Legal Theory
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Mediterranean
  • Author: Cengiz Günay
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Abstract: Tunisia and Egypt are two countries that have experienced the fall of longstanding authoritarian leaders. Transitions in both countries then took entirely different directions. This paper deals with the question of whether and how political change in the two countries has affected their foreign policy-making towards the European Union (EU). Building on a liberal international relations (IR) perspective and elite theory, the paper focuses on the politically relevant elites (PRE). PRE shape discourses and influence decision-making processes. Building on the assumption that the composition and discourses of the PRE influence policies and positions towards the EU, the paper analyses the structure of the elites and their disputes over power resources.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, European Union, Elites
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Mediterranean
  • Author: Joshua Krasna
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Much ink has been and is being spilt regarding whether or not current developments in Algeria and Sudan – the second and third most populous Arab states after Egypt – constitute the Second Wave of the “Arab Spring”. But what is clear is that the second and succeeding waves of Arab Uprisings will not look the same as that of 2011.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Democracy, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Middle East, Algeria, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: It is in Israel’s interest to solidify the Egyptian role in Gaza, in the context of “conflict management” as a governing policy concept. Egyptian participation in the efforts to stabilize the situation in Gaza serves as an important component in the vital Egypt-Israel relationship. It also helps erode Hamas’ pretensions of Jihad.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Terrorism, Territorial Disputes, Leadership, Peace, Hamas, Strategic Stability, Mediation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Joshua Krasna
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Egypt may be beginning to emerge from its self-imposed strategic seclusion.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Strategic Stability, Strategic Interests , Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: The emerging informal alliance in the eastern Mediterranean is becoming increasingly significant. Egypt’s role, Erdogan’s ambitions, energy resources, joint military exercises and coordinated emergency responses contribute to the alliance.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Alliance, Palestinian Authority
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Mediterranean
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Israel, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus must encourage the US to assert a higher military and diplomatic profile as a counterweight to Turkish pressures, Russian and Iranian ambitions, and Chinese inroads.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, Military Strategy, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Asia, North America, Egypt, Cyprus, United States of America
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman, Heather A Conley, Donatienne Ray
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean is long overdue for revision. Policies, priorities, and activities girded by U.S.-led alliance structures were developed to stabilize Europe and deter Soviet aggression at the dawn of the Cold War. Seventy years later, they are no longer fit for purpose. However, the region remains a linchpin for an array of vital U.S. interests. In the last decade alone, regional conflicts and state fragmentation have caused millions of migrants and internally displaced to flee their homes, creating one of the largest migration crises since World War II. The arrival of an unprecedented number of migrants has triggered political backlash and polarized domestic politics in Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean. Many of the littoral states in the Eastern Mediterranean have faced destabilizing economic crises that have created deep political and strategic vulnerabilities. Significant natural gas deposits discovered off the coasts of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt could boost regional economic prospects as a potential energy-producing region, but a divided Cyprus, historical animosities, as well as a lack of infrastructure connectivity hinder this regional economic potential.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Infrastructure, Fragile/Failed State, Military Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Kressen Thyen
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the Middle East and North Africa, EU foreign policy has tended to prioritise regime stability over democratisation. Existing research has argued that this could create anti‐European sentiment in the respective populations. However, empirical evidence on the relationship between the EU’s stance towards regime change and citizen attitudes remains rare. Focusing on Morocco and Egypt, this study uses a mixed‐methods approach, combining qualitative case studies with original survey data to examine whether the EU’s divergent responses to the 2011 uprisings in these two countries are mirrored in regime opponents’ support for EU cooperation.
  • Topic: Social Movement, European Union, Democracy, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Adel El-Adawy
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Today, Egypt’s relationship with NATO remains marginal with many challenges affecting the pros- pects of closer ties. In 2014, NATO and Egypt signed an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), and NATO has since pro- vided some support in the field of demining and training. In this context, and at a time when the Alliance’s goal is to project stability in its southern neighbourhood, with efforts being undertaken to increase engagement with countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, there are areas where NATO and Egypt’s interests overlap offering the potential for closer cooperation.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North America, Egypt
  • Author: Jan Mazač, Lukáš Tichý
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The main objective of the external dimension of the EU energy policy in line with the Energy Union strategy is primarily to ensure energy security by diversifying external energy supplies, transport routes and suppliers, mainly in the gas domain. Egypt’s recent offshore and onshore gas discoveries increased its natural gas reserves estimate. Its natural gas production is thus expected to double in 2020 and transform the country back into a gas supplier in the eastern Mediterranean region. The European Union (EU) should thus strengthen its relations with Egypt to allow its gas production to reach European markets.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, European Union, Gas
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North America, Egypt
  • Author: Roee Kibrik, Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This document briefly outlines major trends in Israel’s regional foreign policies over the past six months. It is based on the Mitvim Institute’s monthly reports that cover ongoing developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process/conflict, Israel’s relations with the Middle East, Europe and the Mediterranean, and the conduct of Israel’s Foreign Service.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, International Affairs, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Jerusalem, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, European Union
  • Author: Shimon Arad
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: In January 2018, the United States and Egypt signed a bilateral communications security agreement known as the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), which protects and regulates the use of sensitive American avionics and communications systems. This development now allows, for the first time, the acquisition by Egypt of US-made high precision GPS-based air-to-ground weapon systems and components, as well as advanced air-to-air missiles. Over the years, Israel’s concerns over the sale of large quantities of US weapon systems to Egypt were moderated by the quality cap dictated by the absence of a CISMOA agreement. Israel thus needs to raise this issue with Washington, within the context of the Qualitative Military Edge (QME) discussions. Given the unreliability of enduring stability in the Middle East, as exemplified by the events in Egypt since 2011, Israel should not disregard possible future scenarios in which its QME versus Egypt may matter. Based on the current convergence of security interests between Israel and Egypt, raising this issue with the US, though likely to upset Cairo, is not expected to undermine the practical manifestations of this relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, North America, Egypt
  • Author: Ofir Winter, Khander Sawaed
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: As expected, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was reelected Egyptian president in late March 2018, this time, with 97.08 percent of the vote. More than affording an electoral mandate, the recent elections highlighted the incumbent president's challenge of legitimacy, which is reflected in two spheres. The first is the exacerbation of the internal splits within the ruling military establishment. The second is growing alienation between the ruling establishment and the general Egyptian public and civilian elements. The precarious state of the regime's legitimacy is a cause for regional and international concern. It may detract from the regime's ability to carry out the next stages of the economic reform sponsored by the International Monetary Fund, and will complicate efforts to obtain the cooperation in the war against terrorism by the local civilian population in the Sinai Peninsula. In the medium and long terms, the enhanced internal friction in the military and tension between the ruling establishment and civilian forces may jeopardize the country's stability. The legitimacy challenge also affects Egypt's relations with Israel. The regime needs broad public legitimacy in order to incur political risks, such as controversial decisions in favor of bilateral or regional cooperation with Israel. In addition, a regime with unsteady legitimacy might be tempted to adopt a populist anti-Israel line in order to strengthen its public standing. At the same time, the political situation in Egypt also provides an opportunity for increasing bilateral cooperation with Israel in areas contributing to the regime's legitimacy: the economy, security, energy, water, agriculture, and tourism.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Legitimacy, IMF
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Nadine Abdalla
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Social movements in Egypt and Syria played a central role in sparking the 2011 revolutions. Yet, despite their profound influence both before and during these critical moments of popular mobilization, they have since been sidelined. In Egypt, the role of social movements has been severely diminished because of the now-restricted political sphere, which has become increasingly inaccessible since the 30 June 2013 revolution and the subsequent military intervention. In Syria, civil society groups and political movements have become less important as a result of the militarization of the revolution, which the Syrian government successfully transformed into armed conflict. This policy paper, which is based on various research papers conducted under the Arab Research Support Programme, provides insight on social movements in these two countries, three main factors that affect a movement’s ability to mobilize communities and that help explain how social movements are affected by increased state repression. These include movement’s ability to understand the changing political context and shift strategies and tactics accordingly; organizational structure and flexibility; and patterns of repression and oppression by the state. This paper finds that social movements grow or decline depending on the strategies chosen to navigate given political contexts, as well as their ability to organize and appeal to a wide audience. For social movements to succeed, they must also be cognizant of a community’s unique characteristics and strengths. This includes its collective memory and fears, dynamics of cohesion and integration, and its historical relation with authoritarian regimes. Understanding these dynamics is essential for a movement to expand and to grow sustainably, especially as tensions rise within a community.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Arab Spring, State Violence, Revolution, Repression
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Firas Haj Yehia
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Arab Republic of Egypt has attracted displaced Syrians despite difficulties in accessing the country. Syrian investment activity began to expand and spread over the past two years in a variety of different fields: companies, restaurants, factories, and other professions in the areas in which Syrians reside. Syrians mostly live in the cities of Obour, 6th of October, Alexandria, and 10th of Ramadan, and the Egyptian government therefore allocated Syrians a piece of land to build a Syrian industrial zone. Sisi’s rise to power in Egypt has played a role in changing the official discourse towards Syrians, and in framing their political and cultural activities. The evolution of the situation in Syria also played a role in reshaping the mechanisms of interaction between the owners of capital, which will shape the forms and mechanisms of investment in Syria after the end of the conflict.
  • Topic: Diaspora, Geopolitics, Refugees, Immigrants
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Hopes and fears abound as President Sisi begins his second term. The winter of 2011 seemed to usher in a democratic spring. But the spring of 2018 seems to be authoritarian autumn.
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Leadership, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: How the wise use of force facilitates diplomatic processes in the Israel-Egypt-Hamas and Israel-Russia-Syria triangles
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Conflict, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: While Israel should steer away from overt identification with internal challengers in Iran, this is the time to urge the US. and other like-inded nations to ratchet up the pressure on the regime, explaining to the Iranian people the growing cost of their leaders’ ambitions.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Hegemony, ISIL, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Iran and the smaller terrorist groups in Gaza want a full-scale war with Israel. Hamas does not. Israel should land a decisive, well-defined blow but back Egyptian efforts to broker a cease-fire.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, Conflict, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Israel’s actions (or at times, inaction) concerning the future of the Gaza Strip cannot be isolated from the broader context of the struggle over the entire region’s balance of power. Gaza’s dependence on Egypt, and perhaps Cyprus, constitutes a common interest of the “camp of stability” in the Middle East, to curb the influence of both Turkey and Iran, and to deny Abu Mazen the baneful position of a spoiler.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Hegemony, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Egypt, Cyprus
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: The Greek-Cypriot-Egyptian summit held last month in Crete focused on energy connectivity and Turkish threats, but it also paid lip service to Egyptian pro-Palestinian messages, which is problematic.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." The current level of Russian presence in the Middle East is unprecedented for the region since the fall of the Soviet Union. Records of diplomatic and political contacts show increased exchange of multilevel delegations between Russia and the main regional countries. After 2012, Moscow has attempted to cultivate deeper involvement in regional issues and to establish contacts with forces in the Middle East which it considers as legitimate. Moreover, on September 30, 2015, Russia launched air strikes against Syrian groupings fighting against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Before that time, Russia had tried to avoid any fully-fledged involvement in the military conflicts in the region. It was also the first time when it adopted an American military strategy by putting the main accent on the use of air power instead of ground forces. Under these circumstances, the turmoil in the Middle East, which poses a political and security challenge to the EU and United States, makes it crucial to know whether Russia could be a reliable partner in helping the West to stabilize the region or whether, on the contrary, Moscow will play the role of a troublemaker.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Military Intervention, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, United States of America, European Union, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Migration continues to be a major issue affecting African societies. Here are three observations on how Africa’s economic migrants* affect security on the continent:
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Diaspora, Refugees, Displacement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Egypt, Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden
  • Author: Efraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Everything must be done by Jerusalem to preserve the peace treaty with Egypt, but Israel should still prepare itself for worst-case scenarios.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Romuald Bolliger, Mohamed Elmenshawy, Ragnar Weilandt
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Following the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011, and more markedly after the July 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's military assumed a new role in national politics. In taking on such new responsibilities and control, the military also came to realize the powerful importance of the media, both as a useful political tool and as a significant potential threat. Building upon their traditional, historical role in Egyptian society, the military resolved to adopt strategies aimed at manipulating and severely controlling media organizations and journalists in order to support the military's agenda and shape public opinion. This paper examines the results of this new military approach to public communication. Specific attention is devoted to the military's communication strategy, its evolution since January 2011, its effects on civil-military relations, as well as the consequences for media freedom.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Communications, Military Affairs, Media, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: On the fifth anniversary of the mass Tahrir Square protests that ousted former President Mubarak, Egyptians are suffering severe repression and political instability. As this crisis deepens, Washington continues to send troubling mixed messages about its commitment to trying to resolve it. The U.S. government should, at long last, use its considerable influence to support civil society and advance human rights in Egypt. Such an approach would both help Egyptians and serve U.S interests. This blueprint draws on dozens of interviews with Egyptian human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists, academics, families of detainees, lawyers, government officials, and others, conducted during a research trip in January 2016. It examines conditions in Egypt, the strengths and shortcomings of the U.S. response, and potential opportunities for the U.S. government to support civil society and strengthen respect for human rights. This year will be a defining one as violent extremism, regional conflicts, and political and economic mismanagement threaten Egypt—and as President Obama shapes his legacy in the Middle East. In 2009, he delivered a message of hope in Cairo: “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.” Much has changed in the intervening years. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2015, President Obama opted for analysis rather than exhortation, noting that: “repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed. The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable. The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow.” He continued: “I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear. History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble, but strong institutions built on the consent of the governed endure long after any one individual is gone.” Yet the U.S. government’s handling of the enduring crisis in Egypt has too often failed to draw obvious conclusions from the Administration’s analysis of the detrimental impact of human rights violations on stability and progress. As a result, many Egyptians view the Obama Administration as supportive of the repressive leadership in Cairo. This support for the dictatorship will render Egypt less stable, undermine U.S. efforts to prevent violent extremism, and further damage Washington’s credibility in the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, United Nations, Social Movement, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, North Africa, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Police forces and security agencies genuinely accountable to democratically elected civilian authorities have not emerged in either Egypt or Tunisia four years after popular uprisings forced the countries' longtime leaders from power. Ministries of interior remain black boxes with opaque decisionmaking processes, governed by officer networks that have resisted meaningful reform, financial transparency, and political oversight. Until governments reform their security sectors, rather than appease them, the culture of police impunity will deepen and democratic transition will remain impossible in Egypt and at risk in Tunisia.
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Tunisia