A seminar with Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate, Carnegie Middle East Center (Beirut). Fourth session of the fall 2016 study group led by MEI Visiting Scholar Professor Robert Springborg, Globalization and Its Discontents in the Middle East and North Africa.

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The Egyptian military's economy is almost entirely structured around, and dependent on, the capture of state assets and privileged access to public works contracts. Rentier economics and politics are not new in Egypt, but the willingness of foreign governments and companies and of international financial institutions to subsidize the post-2013 regime has enabled a transformation in military penetration of the civilian economy. It is also generating heated competition between military interest groups and their respective allies in other state institutions and the private sector, placing economic reforms and growth in jeopardy.

Yezid Sayigh is a senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where his work focuses on the Syrian crisis, the political role of Arab armies, security sector transformation in Arab transitions, the reinvention of authoritarianism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process.

Previously, Sayigh was professor of Middle East studies at King’s College London. From 1994–2003, he served as assistant director of studies at the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge. From 1998–2003, he headed the Middle East program of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Sayigh was also an adviser and negotiator in the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks with Israel from 1991–1994. Since 1999, he has provided policy and technical consultancy on the permanent-status peace talks and on Palestinian reform.

Sayigh is the author of numerous publications, including most recently Dilemmas of Reform: Policing in Arab Transitions (March 2016); Haidar al-‘Abadi’s First Year in Office: What Prospects For Iraq? (September 2015); Crumbling States: Security Sector Reform in Libya and Yemen (June 2015); Missed Opportunity: The Politics of Police Reform in Egypt and Tunisia (March 2015); Militaries, Civilians and the Crisis of the Arab State (December 2014); The Syrian Opposition’s Leadership Problem (April 2013); Above the State: The Officers’ Republic in Egypt (August 2012); “We serve the people”: Hamas policing in Gaza (2011); and Policing the People, Building the State: Authoritarian transformation in the West Bank and Gaza (2011).