New POMED Policy Brief: Confronting Egypt’s Dangerous Decline
POMED launched its new Policy Brief series today. The Policy Briefs are short analysis pieces for U.S. policymakers on issues of core relevance to democratic development in the Middle East and North Africa. The briefs feature leading American, European, and regional authors from academia, think tanks, practitioner organizations, and human rights groups. The inaugural policy brief by Cairo-based journalist Issandr El Amrani examines U.S.-Egypt relations in the wake of last week’s tragic bombing in Alexandria and fraudulent parliamentary elections. Click here for the full text, and click here to sign up to receive future briefs via email.
El Amrani writes that Egypt’s recent parliamentary elections and the exacerbation of sectarian tensions with the Alexandria church bombing confirm fears that the Egyptian regime has little interest in genuine reform, and that its attempts to maintain stability through repression are failing. Efforts by both the Bush and Obama administrations since 2006 to encourage political reform and address human rights concerns have essentially been ignored by the Egyptian government, demonstrating the need for an alternative framework for U.S. engagement with Egypt on these issues. While radical changes to the underpinnings of the U.S.-Egypt relationship are unlikely at this time, El Amrani suggests several modest but meaningful steps to uphold the credibility of American democracy promotion goals in the country. These steps include enhancing engagement with a variety of Egyptian opposition actors, downgrading U.S. relations with institutions such as the People’s Assembly, and encouraging the Egyptian government to address key concerns of the Coptic community.