A new article appearing in the journal International Studies argues that the fundamental cause of the Egyptian uprisings was not anger at the regimes undemocratic authoritarianism but rather the failure of the Mubarak regime to provide economic prosperity to the majority of the population.
The article, “The Egyptian Uprising and the Global Capitalist System” by Ibrahim Aoude, is not the first to make this claim of course. What he does is make a strong attempt to embed the argument in the decline of the global world system especially in the wake of the 2008 world financial crisis.
Aoude begins by describing the crisis of the global (capitalist) economic system, drawing heavily on the works of Samir Amin (2001, 2003, 2011a, 2011b), with an emphasis on the 2008 global financial crisis and its continuing aftermath. He then describes how Sadat laid the groundwork for everything that has gone wrong in Egypt over the last forty years by drawing the country into the global economy, and how Mubarak’s continuation and acceleration of that policy worsened conditions.
Paul Amar’s book “The Security Archipelago” won the Charles Taylor Book Award at the American Political Science Association convention in Washington, DC, August 28-31.
This prize is for the “best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods,” and is selected by the Interpretive Methods and Methodologies Section of the APSA.
His new book, “The Security Archipelago” is a fascinating account of the evolution of a network of global security “hot spots” he metaphorically likens to an archipelago, a chain of islands physically and culturally disconnected that nevertheless constitute a system.
In this case, the system is the creation of a new form of security state that combines humanitarian discourse with techniques of surveillance and control.
Certain hot spots serve as laboratories where these emerging forms are tested out. Among these are Brazil and Egypt, and Paul–fluent in Portuguese and Arabic–studies them here with nuanced (dare I say ethnographic?) attention to details of language and body.
The whole book is interesting but the Egypt-relevant chapters include: Read more…
A new issue of the journal Israel Affairs features a number of articles about the Arab Spring and its implications for the state of Israel. Only two of these are about Egypt.
Yehudit Ronin’s assessment of the “jihadist” threat in the Sinai is already out of date, since Israel’s recent occupation of Gaza and destruction of the tunnels into the Sinai through which arms, food and medicine flow.
His basic argument seems to be that thanks to the Egyptian revolution, and the decline in security in the Sinai, the peninsula is poised to once again become a central security issue between Egypt and Israel as militant activity in the region grows.
The revolution unleashed Coptic youth to speak out against injustices practiced against Christians in Egypt, sometimes with tragic results. Many Copts were thrilled with the ousting of President Morsi by the military last July, but others were more cautious, recalling that the military had struck at Coptic protesters two years ago.
Shortly after the coup, Pope Tawadros made a short televised speech in which he voiced his general approval for the new road map for Egypt’s future, essentially giving his approval for the coup.
“This roadmap has been drafted by honourable people who seek the interests, first and foremost, of the country,” he said.
The Church has always played a significant role in representing the Coptic people to/for the state, although the revolution and the subsequent passing of Pope Shenouda raised questions as to whether this would remain the case.
The Catholic on-line journal Oasis, devoted to “Christians and Muslims in the age of mestizaje of civilizations” published a lengthy interview with Pope Tawadros, leader of the Coptic Christian Church, on the occasion of his visit to Rome and meeting with Pope Francis.
Pope Tawadros shared some of his thoughts on the future of the Coptic church in Egypt during this age of revolution. (you can read the full interview here.)
Your Holiness has made some audacious political declarations in many interviews. Is it your view that the Church has a political role that is of no small account?
When we speak about its political role and national role, both are important, but naturally its national role is fundamental and what the Egyptian Church has done is to relaunch its national role.