From January to mid March of this year, around 35 policy papers and investigative articles on Egypt were published by 55 think tanks and institutions who regularly publish on Egypt. More than half of the research papers and policy analysis published focused on the 2018 presidential elections, the political landscape, the economy and foreign aid. Fewer papers focused on the human rights situation, judicial affairs, military affairs and security.
The 2018 presidential elections, from the point of view of the democracy and political landscape, was the second most covered topic. The papers shared a common analysis and experts described the 2018 elections as “neither free nor fair”(7), “sham Egyptian elections”(8), “Putinesque Election”(9), and “another setback for democracy”(10). Experts cast the 2018 elections as important litmus test and evaluation of the political developments in Egypt. Some of these papers outlined the internal and external challenges facing Mr Sisi that are leading him to run the elections with limited political opposition(11).
The remaining papers in the first quarter of 2018 are divided between human rights, judicial affairs, military affairs and the security situation in Egypt. Under the topics of human rights and judicial affairs, TIMEP addressed violations to the due process rights, the state emergency law, military trials of civilians, mass sentencing and forced disappearances(12). The Egyptian Initiative on Personal Rights also produced a report on death penalties in 2017(13). The Atlantic Council published a paper on the state of emergency(14) and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a paper on the state’s attempts to appoint high ranking judges in Egypt(15). The Washington Institute for Near East Policy published a paper on the impact on civil society and revisited the discussion on the trial of the NGO workers(16). On military affairs and security, POMED published an article addressing the details of American military aid to Egypt(17). Furthermore, two papers addressed the military operation in Sinai against insurgency and the overall situation of violence and radicalization in Egypt(18). Finally, important assessment of the overall freedoms, political rights and civil liberties was published by Freedom House(19).
In conclusion, it can be seen that the rate of publishing on Egypt of international think tanks may be slowing down. The focus is lesser on internal specifics and more on issues that intersect with international community affairs such as foreign debt, military aid, and major events such as the 2018 elections.
(1) See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/01/30/egypts-imf-program-assessing-the-political-economy-challenges/ ; and https://www.me-policy.org/2018/02/14/eye-on-debt-ii-the-second-report-monitoring-the-economic-and-social-impact-of-the-imf-loan/
(19) See: https://www.me-policy.org/2018/02/15/egypts-comprehensive-military-operation/ , and https://www.me-policy.org/2018/01/15/egypt-looks-for-security-answers-as-its-war-on-terrorism-moves-to-the-desert-oases/