This talk is based on the co-authors' recent paper "How Much Will the Pandemic Change Egyptian Governance and for How Long?" The Egyptian regime has reacted in an unexpected way to the global pandemic—with civilian, technocratic, and expert bodies leading the way and even some (admittedly officially patrolled) political debate being allowed to emerge. This talk examines these recent developments and evaluates whether they mark a real change in Egyptian governance, and if so, why, what kind, and will it last.
Amr Hamzawy is currently a senior research scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. He studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin. He was previously an associate professor of political science at Cairo University and a professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo. Between 2016 and 2017, he served as a senior fellow in the Middle East program and the Democracy and Rule of Law program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC. His research and teaching interests as well as his academic publications focus on democratization processes in Egypt, tensions between freedom and repression in the Egyptian public space, political movements and civil society in Egypt, contemporary debates in Arab political thought, and human rights and governance in the Arab world. His new book On The Habits of Neoauthoritarianism – Politics in Egypt Between 2013 and 2019appeared in Arabic in September 2019. Hamzawy is a former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the January 25, 2011 revolution. He is also a former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. Hamzawy contributes a weekly op-ed to the All Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi.
Nathan Brown is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at The George Washington University. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at The Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and serves on the board of trustees at the American University in Cairo. His contributions span a wide range of topics, including Islamist movements, Egyptian politics, Palestinian politics, and Arab law and constitutionalism. Dr. Brown served as the president of the Middle East Studies Association between 2013 and 2015. He was previously named a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is a former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. His previous research was funded by the United States Institute of Peace and two Fulbright fellowships. He received the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Scholarship from George Washington University in 2015 and the Harry Harding teaching award from the Elliott School of International Affairs in 2014. His dissertation received the Malcolm Kerr award from the Middle East Studies Association in 1987. Dr. Brown is the author of six books, including Arguing Islam after the Revival of Arab Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), and When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012). He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics and Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University.