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e-book A Post-Revolutionary Egyptian Foreign Policy?... Not Yet

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This Adelphi volume brings together senior scholars as well as rising analysts of Egypt to examine the tumultuous period from the January uprising against Hosni Mubarak, via the election and ouster of Muhammad Morsi, to the consolidation of presidential power under Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi by late The nine authors provide a sober, in-depth look at the country's contested politics, institutional and political players, struggling economy, constant foreign policy and evolving security challenges.

The nine chapters are written by Professor Nathan J. Skip to Main Content.

The Egyptian Revolution

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FOR a century and a half the Arab world has been following a negative policy. It has known what it wanted to do away with, but it has not known what it wanted to build.

Unwanted: NGOs in Post-Revolution Egypt – World Policy

The Western conquest of the Middle East was mental no less than physical. Overwhelmed and unsettled, Eastern minds lost almost all national values, yet could not absorb Western values. Misapplication of Western patterns of government brought a confused mixture of political systems and philosophies. Democracy was only a veil for dictatorship.

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Constitutions framed in the interest of the people of the Middle East became instruments for their exploitation and domination. Egypt's story in these years centers upon the effort to free the country from a foreign yoke and to find a policy capable of eradicating the evils accumulated by feudalism and compounded by misuse of governmental power.

It was a long and painful search. Egyptians hoped for leaders to champion their cause and defend their interests, but politicians and factions for the most part made themselves subservient to the forces that were ravaging the country--British rulers, corrupt monarchs, feudal overlords, a non-Egyptian ruling class and its Egyptian satellites.

Political inclusiveness in Tunisia. For starters, political inclusiveness in Tunisia fosters healthy dialogue about potential solutions. For example, the new Tunisian cabinet formed in August includes ex-union leaders, who can now shape broad economic policies, not just press for higher wages. This has already made public-policy debates more constructive, because policymakers are focusing on how labour and business can fairly share the burden of economic adjustment.

This is not only economically inefficient reflected in the absence of net foreign portfolio investment in Egypt in recent years ; it is also politically risky. Egyptian politicians can do little but cross their fingers and hope that the street does not rise up in response to the recent currency devaluation. Political inclusiveness creates a more informed — and possibly more forgiving — public.

In Tunisia, members of civil society and the media may freely scrutinise the government and call for change. While reforms have been slow in coming, the government cannot ignore growing public criticism forever. In fact, the draft budget law already includes urgent measures to fight corruption, trim the bureaucracy and reduce tax evasion.

Unwanted: NGOs in Post-Revolution Egypt

In Egypt, on the other hand, the currency devaluation has come as a shock to ordinary citizens. At the same time, freedom of expression and association are severely limited; criticising government policies is deemed tantamount to high treason. Tunisia has made political progress by shoring up its democratic processes, creating institutional space for all stakeholders and allowing for free expression and assembly. Egypt, for its part, may benefit from short-term gains as a result of the IMF package. If they do not take the long and winding road toward political inclusion, sooner or later they will face the wrath of those they have excluded.


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The goal is to create and foster dialogue between the communities. By Jan Schmidt-Whitley. Skip to main content.

By contrast, writes Ishac Diwan, freedoms of expression and association are severely limited in Egypt where criticising government policies is tantamount to high treason. A closed political system: "the Egyptian government is constantly in fear of the street. This is not only economically inefficient; it is also politically risky.

Egyptian politicians can do little but cross their fingers and hope that the street does not rise up in response to the recent currency devaluation," writes Diwan. Fostering political inclusion: by facing up to the atrocities visited on private individuals by past regimes - as seen here - the Tunisian government would appear to be pursuing a healthy course aimed at consolidating its fledgling democracy and, by extension, its ability to weather economic uncertainty.