In the wake of the Arab Spring, political elites passed a new constitution, held parliamentary elections, and demonstrated the strength of their democracy with a peaceful transfer of power. Yet in Egypt, unity crumbled due to polarization among elites. Elizabeth Nugent, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science presents a new theory of polarization under authoritarianism in her new book After Repression and reveals how polarization and the legacies of repression led to these substantially divergent political outcomes.

Moderated by MEI Faculty Director Tarek Masoud, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman Professor of International Relations.

Dr. Elizabeth Nugent received her doctorate in politics from Princeton University with a specialization in comparative politics and a focus on the Middle East in June 2017. She also holds a B.A. in Arabic and an M.A. in Arab Studies, both from Georgetown University. Dr. Nugent’s research explores political behavior in authoritarian contexts, religion and politics, and the origins of coercive institutions, combining a variety of survey, voting, archival, and interview evidence, and incorporating quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methodologies. Before joining Yale’s political science faculty as an assistant professor in July 2018, Dr. Nugent was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She served as an AY2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow in Cairo, Egypt and has conducted fieldwork for a variety of projects in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.