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  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic hu- man rights abuses and continuous societal crises. Apart from limited protests by labor activists, student movements, and members of syndicates, Egyptians have mostly refrained from protesting, instead hoping that the government will improve their living conditions despite a rising poverty rate of 33 percent, an inflation rate between 11 and 12 percent, and unemployment at eight percent. This popular reluctance to challenge the authoritarian government has continued to shape Egypt’s reality since the collapse of the short-lived democratization process from 2011–2013.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • 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: 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: 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: Michele Dunne, Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Secular political parties in Egypt have always been caught between an overbearing state and a largely Islamist opposition. The brief, chaotic political opening from 2011 to 2013 offered them unprecedented opportunities, but the violence and intense polarization that followed the military coup have put them under more pressure than ever. Formal politics in Egypt is now a tightly controlled game in which no real independence is allowed, but some secular parties might reemerge as contenders should there be another opportunity for free competition.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt’s new authoritarian regime is rapidly closing the public space—cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and thwarting citizens’ peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. The government’s primary strategy is to institute wide-scale repression through lawmaking and justify its behavior through conspiratorial and populist narratives. With unprecedented resolve, it has passed new protest and terrorism laws, introduced legal amendments targeting nongovernmental organizations, and extended the military court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the regime is adapting lawmaking for its own purposes. To fight against the tide, those challenging the system need to fully understand how.
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Joseph Sassoon
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Dr. Joseph Sassoon has spent the past few years working to improve our understanding of authoritarian governments that are typically inscrutable to outsiders, focusing first on the Ba‘th Party under Saddam Hussein for his book Saddam Hussein’s Ba‘th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime and, more recently, conducting a comparative analysis of eight authoritarian regimes in the Arab world. Dr. Sassoon’s comparative analysis, which he recently finalized during a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, looks at differences and commonalities among these coercive governments and will be published in his forthcoming book, Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics.
  • Topic: History, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Interview, Baath Party
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Merve Ince
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bilgi
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: The role of the military in the politics in the developing or socalled “Third World” countries has always been fundamental in order to comprehend the historical process of democratization movements in these countries. To be able to fully grasp the politics, particularly democratic transitions, in the Middle East, it is indispensable to look at the role of the military within the transition process. However, because the democratic transition processes involves different practices, in my research paper, I will focus on the role of military within the constitution-making processes in order to narrow down my research. I have chosen the constitution-making process because, as argued by Özbudun, constitution-making, especially during democratic transitions, is an excellent opportunity to build political institutions that will enjoy broad support from society and its political elites. Both the constitution-making process and its outcome are crucial aspects of the transition to and consolidation of democracy. In this regard, in this study, I have chosen to study Egypt and Turkey comparatively in terms of their military involvement in the constitution making process. It should be noted that in both Turkey and Egypt, previous constitutions were made directly by the military or under military influence through various means, which I will evaluate in my research paper in detailed way. I have chosen these two countries due to two reasons. My initial inspiration is derived from that currently, these two significant countries of the region are in the constitution-making process. When we look at current situation of Turkey, it can be argued that Turkey is in constitution-making process, which is supposed to be totally civilian without the influence of the military. On the other hand, in terms of Egypt, it is argued that following to the Arab Spring, Egypt’s new constitution will be the roadmap to a second republic that most Egyptians hope will be free from the tyranny, corruption, and nepotism, which were the trademarks of Egypt’s political life. The second reason is that despite the fact that Egypt and Turkey differ from each other in terms of longevity of their democratic experiences, the militaries of two countries demonstrate some core similarities, which is noteworthy in terms of comparing the two. Considering all of these, the aim of this study is to see how the military can be a part of the political system, especially in the making of constitution, and to understand the current situation and changing position of the militaries in these countries.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Democracy, State Building, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Egypt
  • Author: Imad El-Anis, Ashraf Hamed
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bilgi
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: This article offers an analysis of the early stages of the revolutions that have been taking place in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Here we consider the early stages of the revolutions from winter 2010-11 up until the summer of 2012 and offers a comparative study of the experiences of the early stage of the revolutions in each case study. In particular this study considers the roles of six variables on the process of regime change and transition as follows: 1) duration of the uprising up to regime change; 2) the initial outcome of the revolution/uprising; 3) the number of deaths and casualties; 4) the postregime change status of key members of the former governing elite; 5) the existence and nature of post-regime change elections; and 6) levels of international involvement. This study finds that in all three case studies, considering these variables offers insight into the nature and effect of the early stages of the revolutions. Furthermore, in each case there are key similarities in some of these variables but significant differences in others which suggest that the processes of transition are not directly comparable with each other. This article also offers some thoughts on how the early stages of these revolutions could affect the direction and pace of change in each state.
  • Topic: Regime Change, Democracy, Arab Spring, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Lorenzo Vidino
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Few observers foresaw the Arab Spring, but it should not have surprised anyone that the Islamist movements - the most organized movements in the Arab world - became the main beneficiaries of the turmoil that ensued. Islamism, in its gradualist and pragmatic approach embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots worldwide, seems ready to reap the rewards of its three decades-old decision to abandon violence and focus on grassroots activities. This monumental change has created many concerns among liberals, religious minorities and, more generally, all non-Islamists in the countries where Islamists have won. In addition, Arab states ruled by non-Islamist regimes have expressed concern. The former worry that Islamist ideology - even in its more contemporary, pragmatic form - remains deeply divisive and anti-democratic, often at odds with their values and interests. The latter believe that on foreign policy issues, most of the positions of various Brotherhood-inspired parties are on a collision course with the policies of established regimes in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Islam, Self Determination, Political Activism, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt