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Egypt in the Arab Spring: Perspectives from Economics and Democratisation Studies

Friday 28 September 2012
Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

On Friday 28 September, the LSE Middle East Centre will be organising the first of two one-day graduate workshops as part of the collaborative project with the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS), Cairo University.

The workshop will discuss the causes and immediate implications of the Egyptian revolution in the context of the Arab Spring from an economic / political economy and democratisation perspective. It is structured in two sections; each section introduced by a paper by one of the members of the steering committee of the collaborative project and includes presentations from young scholars from UK universities and FEPS.

Registration to attend this workshop is now closed.

Workshop Programme (subject to change)
LSE FEPS Workshop

8.30 – 9.30

Registration

9.30 – 9.45

Welcome Address
Dr Jasmine Gani, LSE

9.45  – 10.30

Egyptian Economy after the 25th January Revolution: Challenges and Opportunities
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Dr Ola El Khawaga, FEPS

10.30 – 11.00

Tea & Coffee

11.00 – 12.30

Panel 1 - Economic Perspectives of the Egyptian Revolution


Monetary and Fiscal Policies Post 25th January Revolution: Fighters Against Windmills
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Hebatalla Emam, FEPS


The Egyptian Revolution: A Deepened Economic Crisis or a Potential Economic Solution?
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Rasha Rasheed Aly, FEPS

12.30 – 13.30

Lunch

13.30 – 14.15

Egypt and “Bare Life”: A Perspective on the Motivations of the Egyptian Revolution
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Dr Marco Pinfari, LSE

14.15 – 15.45

Panel 2 - Identity, Media, and Religion in Post-Mubarak Egypt


Egyptian Press and the Transition to Democracy: A Study of the Conditions and Challenges facing National Print Media post the January 25th 2011 Revolution
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Hala El Zahed, FEPS


Livin’ La Vida Gloca’: English Language Use by the Young ‘Glocal’ Middle Class in Cairo
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Harry Pettit, LSE


Theology and Democratization: The Role of Religious Forces in the Aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution
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Nesreen Khaled, FEPS

15.45 – 16.15

Tea & Coffee

16.15 – 17.45

Panel 3 - The Road to Democracy in Egypt: Comparing Contexts


Islamic Perspectives on Democratisation between Theory and Practice: A Comparative Study of the Egyptian and the Tunisian Revolutions
Yasmine Zein Al-Abedine Radwan, FEPS


Egyptian Media in Transition: Comparative Analysis for the Role of Egyptian Public Television in Democracy Transition
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Omneya Nour Eddin Khalifa, City University London


Local Governance and Democratization: The Roadmap for a Responsive Accountable Egypt
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Salwa Tobbala, FEPS

Abstracts

Egyptian Economy after the 25th of January Revolution: Challenges and Opportunities - Dr Ola El Khawaga, FEPS

The Arab world witnessed dramatic changes after several revolutions – in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria – on political, economic and social levels. This paper argues that these changes will impact on Euro-Mediterranean relationships and will lead to explore new partnership opportunities in order to determine which policies will take shape and the main actors to be engaged for implementing these policies.

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Monetary and Fiscal Policies Post 25th January Revolution: Fighters Against Windmills| - Hebatalla Emam, FEPS

This paper aims at identifying the repercussions of the recent political events upon the fiscal and the monetary sides of the economy as well as identifying how fiscal and monetary policies were managed during the transition period. Accordingly, the study presents a brief theoretical review for the two policies in general as well as their framework in the Egyptian context prior to the revolution. Then, the impact of the revolution upon major fiscal and monetary variables is analysed followed by presentation of several fiscal and monetary measures adopted during the transition period. Main challenges and outlooks are later presented. Finally, the study concludes by some policy implications that might help in mitigating the negative consequences and risk associated with the 25th of January revolution upon the fiscal and monetary side of the economy. Read the full paper|

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The Egyptian Revolution: A Deepened Economic Crisis or a Potential Economic Solution? - Rasha Rasheed Aly, FEPS

The recent unrest in Egypt has its deep socio-economic roots: rising unemployment, inflation of food prices, higher poverty levels and inequality of income distribution are all factors that culminated into uncontrollable anger towards Mubarak's thirty-years-rule of the country. The ongoing political instability since Mubarak stepped down has contributed to the deteriorating economic conditions, yet a successful transition to democracy can be facilitated by a sound economy and the economic wellbeing of citizens. The role of international donors as key players in the near future of Egypt cannot be ignored. International donors have in many cases left Egypt with a huge debt before the revolution. Could this be a continuous pattern, or will a post revolution Egypt have a different approach to such relations. 

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Egypt and 'Bare Life': A Perspective on the Motivations of the Egyptian - Dr Marco Pinfari, LSE

This paper will attempt to engage with the existing material on the motivations of the Egyptian revolution, one of the key events in the Arab Spring, by assessing their empirical bases, conceptual validity and reciprocal interactions. The aim of this paper is to reflect on whether one specific dynamic – the rebellion against the “bare life” model promoted by the Mubarak regime – can be considered as the main motivation of the revolution, especially in the absence of credible narratives connecting the revolution with purely political and economic causes. 

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Egyptian Press and the Transition to Democracy: A Study of the Conditions and Challenges Facing National Print Media Post the January 25th 2011 Revolution| - Hala El Zahed, FEPS

National press in Egypt has long been restricted and manipulated by the regime. Paradoxically, the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011; which was supposed to bring freedom to all institutions, mired the Egyptian press resulting in its regression rather than progression. Indeed, a democratic state can’t be built without a vibrant and independent media. Surmountable causes can be linked to why the process of democratization in Egypt has been slow and retrograde, nevertheless. The question is: How can we possibly turn the Egyptian press into an independent institution whose main concern is to serve the people through providing information with accuracy and transparency? And whether there is a specific model that we can emulate to develop the Egyptian national press. Read the full paper|

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Livin’ La Vida Gloca’: English language use by the young ‘glocal’ middle class in Cairo| - Harry Pettit, LSE

This paper uncovers the complexities of a specific ‘glocal’ middle-class youth ‘habitus’ in Cairo. Within this cosmopolitan city, globalised cultural orientations can be constituted and reconstituted through the everyday practice of learning English. The so labelled ‘disenfranchised’ display a unique ability to negotiate overarching cultural discourses and in the process carve out an innovative cosmopolitan existence. English is simultaneously appropriated as a mechanism for raising status through connecting to global cultural flows, and as a tool through which to authenticate these flows within localised structures and codes. Through possessing the ability to intertwine the local and the global, they develop the mastery of ‘inbetweenness’. Read the full paper|

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Theology and Democratization: The Role of Religious Forces in the Aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution| - Nesreen Khaled, FEPS

Liberal Democratic Theory has often advocated for the strict separation between the state and religion; confining the later to the private sphere.  Over the past year, Islamist movements have increasingly managed to translate their popular standing into sweeping election successes especially in the Arab Spring region. This has raised the inevitable concern of whether political Islam can be compatible with democratic transformation or not. This paper aims at examining the role such religious forces can play in the democratization process in Egypt and whether the political opening and attainment of power can affect their ideological and political stances or not. Read the full paper|

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Islamic Perspectives on Democratisation between Theory and Practice: A Comparative Study of the Egyptian and the Tunisian Revolutions - Yasmine Zein Al-Abedine Radwan, FEPS

Uprising of Islamic dimension is the most important trait of political life post the Arab revolutions especially in Egypt and Tunisia. A great debate among political intellectuals focuses on its reasons and its impact on the long term inside the Egyptian and the Tunisian societies; is it an imposed or a selected alternative of the secular regime? This paper tries to analyze the role of Islam in the democratisation process in theory and practice by applying on Egypt and Tunisia pre and post- revolution. 

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Egyptian Media in Transition: Comparative Analysis for the Role of Egyptian Public Television in Democracy Transition - Omneya Nour Eddin Khalifa, City University London

This paper aims to evaluate the role of Egyptian media in contributing to democratization in comparison with the role of media in transformation witnessed at the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This paper presents an analysis for the historical development of broadcasting in Egypt, trying to compare this development to other Eastern and Mediterranean European countries that share similar experiences with media transformation in situations of political turmoil. 

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Local Governance and Democratization: The Roadmap for a Responsive Accountable Egypt| - Salwa Tobbala, FEPS

This paper studies democratization in transitional democracies in Eastern European countries to draw lessons learned to the Egypt case post January 25th revolution.  This paper is an attempt to study the decentralization process in both Poland and Egypt.  The researcher intends to draw on lessons learned from the Polish local administration reform through political, social and economic case to present a roadmap for the Egyptian initiative to implement decentralization and provide practical solutions for political, administrative and fiscal reforms. Read the full paper|

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