On October 27, 2015, ARD Visiting Scholar and former Egyptian Member of Parliament Amr Hamzawy spoke to the CDDRL community, sharing remarks on shifts in liberal thought in Egypt over the past several years.
Over the past two years, liberal ideas in Egypt have been at a crossroads. Since July 3, 2013 countless “secular” political parties and movements have stood under their liberal banners in support of a military intervention into politics. Egyptian liberals have been engaged in propagating anti-democratic deceptions that have enabled the new military autocracy to tighten its grip over state institutions, society, and citizens. The idea of sequentialism, the notion of a unilaterally defined set of national necessities, and the subordination of society and citizens to the state are among the liberal made grand deceptions, which have made it possible for Egypt’s new savior and his ruling establishment to contain popular demands for a democratic order defined by the rule of law, rotation of power, civic peace, and safeguards human rights and freedoms.
Amr Hamzawy studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin. After finishing his doctoral studies and after five years of teaching in Cairo and Berlin, Hamzawy joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington, DC) between 2005 and 2009 as a senior associate for Middle East Politics. Between 2009 and 2010, he served as the research director of the Middle East Center of the Carnegie Endowment in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2011, he joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo, where he continues to serve today. Hamzawy also serves as an associate professor of political science at the Department of Political Science, Cairo University.
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.
Dr. Hamzawy is a former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the 25th of Jan 2011 revolution. He is also a former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. Hamzawy contributes a daily column and a weekly op-ed to the Egyptian independent newspaper Shorouk.
For more information about CDDRL's Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, please visit: cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/arabreform/