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“Julian

Julian Richards is openDemocracy’s managing editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Chronicles of the Arab Revolt

Education and orientalist discourse

The topic of education fits neatly into the orientalist middle class rhetoric about the poor, ignoring its role as an instrument of class power and domination in an autocratic country like Egypt. 

"Big Brother": the art of subversion

Art achieves its highest purpose when it questions the structures of power in a society. A goal that "Big Brother", a satirical show in Egypt, achieves.

Power and the divine: self-repression in Egypt

Focusing on the afterlife, the rewards of heaven for the just and hell for the unjust, keeps the masses in check and accepting of their social reality. This needs to change.

تنصيب السيسي والمعارضة المصرية

في محاولة لحصر السلطة بشكل مركزي، يسعى النظام إلى خلق عدوّ موحّد هو كناية عن تحالف بين المعارضة والنخب الأمنية والمدنية المستاءة.  English

Sisi’s coronation and the Egyptian opposition

In an attempt to centralize power, the regime is in the process of creating one unified enemy, an alliance between the disgruntled security and civilian elites as well as the opposition. عربي

The tentacles of autocratic regimes: the case of Egypt

The process of repression is outsourced to the citizenry who indirectly secure absolute power for the regime. It is a vicious cycle with the masses being both the victims as well as beneficiaries of repression. 

Sisi, the guardian of sexual morals

The repression of the LGBT community in Egypt stems from the colonial legacy of imperialism and is driven by the middle class in its attempts to create its own version of “modernity.”       

Egypt’s faltering counter-insurgency strategy

There is a lack of preparedness in countering the insurgency and the wave of repression has not lead to an improved security situation, on the contrary, Cairo has now become more of a target.

Pain, torture and alienation

Due to Egypt’s dire political and economic situation, pain and alienation are bound to be a feature of the lives of many for years to come.

Egypt: an obsession with the state

The view that social struggle should be repressed is hindering the opposition. Unless the view of the state and its coercive apparatus changes, the chances of wide scale social transformation are limited.

Laying the foundations for a totalitarian state

The Egyptian regime is moving decisively to close what remains of public space, dominating all aspects of political life for decades to come.   

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: a class under siege

The urban middle class in Egypt is averse to situations where class conflict is heightened and thus justifies repression by the state.

The weakening of Egypt’s regional role

As time passes, pressure on the regime will mount and a choice will have to be made between a domestic crisis, loss of valuable allies and international support.

The changing security dynamic in the Red Sea

The expected transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands is revealing a number of regional dynamics between Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Egypt without Egyptians: the story of the Red Sea islands

Egyptian nationalism, as an ideology nurtured by the military elites and embraced by the middle class, marginalizes the mass of Egyptians.

Pain and torture: state violence in Egypt

The root of state violence and torture is not poor police training, nor a political decision that can be reversed, it is the nature of the regime and the political order it has created.

The regional implications of the fall of Aleppo

The lesson Arab autocrats are likely to learn from Syria is simple: under the current international climate the use of severe repression is effective.

Trump, Putin, and the new Middle East

The election of Trump will give second wind to autocrats in the region as well as create space for the growth of Russian influence.

Egypt's Military Inc.

Unless Egyptian capitalism evolves beyond the current stage of cronyism to competitive accumulation, no amount of loans or policy reforms will solve the problems of the economy.

Whose revolution?

The Egyptian mass protests can only be classified as a reform movement that had hoped to create a liberal order. A modest goal that has degenerated into a full-spectrum military autocracy.

The genealogy of the Effendy

Undeterred by the regime's actions that have steadily pushed the Egyptian economy to the brink, the middle class seem intent on supporting the military.

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: counter-revolution and the state

Maged Mandour

The inability of the counter-revolutionary forces to appeal to more than the need for security means that the current political order can only be maintained through the use of coercion and violence.

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: the colonial connection

Maged Mandour

The colonial experience of the Arab world did not only stunt its social development, it also inhibited the development of class-consciousness.

Can Islamism provide deliverance?

Maged Mandour

Modern day Islamism represents the interests of a specific social class that has few qualms about current social and economic structures.

Who is afraid of the urban poor?

Maged MandourIn Egypt, both the ruling elites and the urban middle class cling to the military regime, in the hope that they will be protected from a seemingly inevitable tide of social unrest.

Can Sisi stop Egypt’s implosion?

Maged Mandour

Neither Sisi nor anyone else can bring stability to the country without radical social transformation, to address the key issues that brought about revolt in the first place.

On the spectacle of violence

Maged Mandour

Violence and repression are becoming more severe, and are symptomatic of the failure of Arab leaders to build a hegemonic vision they can use to control the citizenry. 

Where are the workers?

Even though the number of strikes and industrial actions in Egypt has skyrocketed since the mid 2000s, labour's demands have mostly been local and fragmented.

The untouchables: Egypt’s petty security officials

Maged Mandour

The regime has unleashed a wave of repression that it can no longer control. Power now lies in the hands of those that police local communities: Egypt’s new untouchables, the petty security officials.   

The revolution and rural Egypt: a lost opportunity?

Maged Mandour

The peasantry is still missing from the discourse of the protest movement. As important as political and security sector reform are, the protest movement must include rural Egypt if it is to reach critical mass.

On illusions and inflated condoms

Maged Mandour

The Muslim Brotherhood, secular activists and even regime supporters have decided to shield themselves from reality, focusing on a discourse that provides them with a protective layer from the grim conditions engulfing them.

Between Trump and Baghdadi

Maged Mandour

Backwards looking politics is a malaise affecting both the west and east. It breeds violence as global elites clamber to maintain their grip on power.

 

The revival Nasserism in El Sisi’s Egypt

Maged Mandour

The selective revival of Nasserism by Egypt's current regime may help expand its support base amongst the masses, but only temporarily, as living standards continue to deteriorate.

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

From Mubarak to Sisi: the end of liberal autocracy

Maged Mandour

Unlike during the Mubarak era, the current regime lacks a reliable civilian ally to populate the legislative branch of the state.

 

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