What to read (and watch) on Egypt

July 11, 2013

     By Duncan Green     

I’m turning into a big fan of crowdsourcing. This set of top analyses, infographics and videos was suggested by a mix of Oxfam Egyptologists and a call Egypt protestsfor suggestions on twitter. Given how polarized the coup v revolution debate is right now, I won’t attach names to particular pieces, but thanks to all the Oxfamistas, plus Laurence Chandy, Kate Cooper, Julian Doczi, Marta Foresti, Greta Galeazzi and Danny Sriskandarajah.

First the reading matter:

 ‘For the past week I have been trundling between the pro- and anti-Morsi protests. It is like travelling between two planets.’ On sheep and infidels. Remarkable attempt at an even-handed analysis from Sarah Carr.  

‘This is one expression of an unfinished revolution – important to recall that other revolutions were also extended over long periods of time (i.e the French Revolution)’ IDS boss Lawrence Haddad interviews Mariz Tadros, their top Egypt watcher.

 ‘The Egyptian army has not returned to politics for the simple reason that it has never left.’ Egypt : Coup D’état, Act II by the brilliant Tariq Ramadan. 

 ‘When Morsy ascended to power on June 30, 2012, he had choices — and he chose factional gain, zero-sum politics, and populist demagoguery.’  Michael Wahid Hanna on how we got here. 

‘With the new text, what, if anything, do the country’s new authorities appear to have learned from the mistakes of the past? The answer is: not much.’ Zaid Al-Ali on the constitutional declaration, (the declaration’s content summarized here). 

‘You cannot ram through a constitution that the majority of relevant political players objected to, and yet express surprise that people do not recognize the legitimacy of the current political order, and are demanding the president’s resignation.’ Hesham Sallam.

‘Ultimately, however, the Salafis may come out as a long-term winner, using the blow to the Brotherhood to move to the fore in among the Islamist segment of the population.’ ‘After the Egyptian Coup’, Q&A with Nathan Brown, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East scholar. Brown also has a guide to‘what to watch for in the days ahead’.

Briefings from the always reliable Chatham House

Next the Infographic, a really handy guide to the range of actors involved, and (roughly) whose side (or quadrant) they’re on.

Egypt stakeholder mapping

Finally, the videos


Egypt Explained (by a hilarious hyped up American ubergeek)

But he’s totally eclipsed by this amazingly erudite 12 year old Egyptian kid, apparently interviewed at random on the street – it’s a few months old now, but there’s definitely hope for the country as long as people like him are around.

Feel free to add further suggestions, especially future-facing analysis of the longer term drivers of change, power analysis etc

Update: there’s also a fabulous photo gallery collected by the New Yorker

July 11, 2013
Duncan Green