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The trap of ‘democratization’ as ‘wishful thinking’: The state of the art in the Arab world

Tamirace Fakhoury, former visiting faculty, International and Area Studies | July 19, 2013

The global policy and academic worlds expect the Arab world to democratize. But is this expectation helping today? Are political systems in the contemporary developing world inevitably heading towards democracy, and will democracy triumph as an end product of the 21st century? Democracy studies, and more specifically the branch of transitology research, have in recent … Continue reading »

Coup, denial and myth-making

Steven Fish, professor of political science | July 17, 2013

One of the most remarkable things about the military coup d’etat in Egypt is the combination of denial and myth-making it has prompted. The U.S.  government denies that a military coup even took place. American law requires cessation of certain forms of economic assistance to countries that have suffered coups, and the Obama administration wishes … Continue reading »

After the Arab Spring: Transitions and crisis of governability

Mahmood Monshipouri, visiting associate professor, Middle Eastern Studies | February 12, 2013

Regime transition often presents crises of governability, rooted in the turbulence that permeates political and social change. This is especially true of transitions born of violent uprising and which involve disruptions to the state and economy.  Even democratic transitions, which tend to produce legitimate authority and respect for the rule of law and human rights, … Continue reading »

The rapid encroachment of an Islamic state in Egypt: A timeline

Nezar AlSayyad, professor of architecture, planning and urban history | January 7, 2013

The election of Mohammed Morsi as Egypt’s first Islamist president, on June 24th, 2012, marked an important moment in the history of the country and promised to bring major change. In the past few months, as a popular uprising broke out against Morsi and his Islamization project, Egypt has inched closer to his vision.  When Morsi … Continue reading »

The rise of a Pharaoh: The Arab Spring’s first dictator

Nezar AlSayyad, professor of architecture, planning and urban history | November 24, 2012

Over the course of the past two years, the Arab World celebrated the fall of several of its most brutal dictators but last week it witnessed the meteoric rise of yet a new dictator, President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt. While the world was occupied with celebrating the cessation of hostilities between Hamas and Israel in … Continue reading »

Egypt’s election and the rise of crime

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | May 24, 2012

As Egyptians went to the polls Wednesday in an historic first ever free presidential election, David Kirkpatrick reports in the New York Times that prominently on their minds is the rise of crime since the fall of the dictatorship (read the story here). On the eve of the vote to choose Egypt’s first president since … Continue reading »

Of people and things: Egyptian protest and cultural properties

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | February 4, 2011

In a post on the Berkeley Blog, Samuel Redman makes an argument that urges protection of antiquities be emphasized in the face of current events in Egypt, arguing that mummies are “shared global heritage”. I addressed similar questions in writing a  post on my Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives blog about unconfirmed reports of possible damage … Continue reading »