8 Items

(AP Photo/Belal Darder)

(AP Photo/Belal Darder)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

How the Death of Egypt’s Former President Shows Changing Politics

| July 01, 2019

Deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi fainted and died during an appearance in a Cairo court last month, part of an ongoing and likely politically motivated espionage case stemming from his escape from jail during the 2011 uprisings. The country’s first democratically elected president was unceremoniously buried the next morning in a public cemetery located in the capital, after Egyptian authorities refused his family’s request to bury him in the family plot in his hometown.

News - Middle East Initiative

Elizabeth Nugent, former Postdoctoral Research Fellow, receives APSA’s Comparative Democratization Best Paper Award

| June 26, 2018

Former MEI Postdoctoral Research Fellow Elizabeth R. Nugent receives APSA’s Comparative Democratization Best Paper Award and honorable mention in two other awards for the section.

A Tunisian policeman dressed in civilian clothing casts his vote April 29 during municipal elections at a polling station for the police and military in Tunis. (Hassene Dridi/AP)

AP Photo/Hassene Dridi

Analysis & Opinions

Tunisia’s first post-uprisings local elections are Sunday. Can they bolster citizens’ belief in democracy?

| May 04, 2018

On May 6, Tunisian citizens will finally head to the polls for the country’s first municipal elections since its 2011 popular uprising. Voters will cast ballots in all of the country’s 24 governorates for 7,212 available council seats in 350 municipalities, including 86 new municipalities created since 2015. Delayed twice since originally planned in 2016, these elections are another milestone in Tunisia’s tumultuous ongoing transition.

AP Photo/Hassene Dridi

AP Photo/Hassene Dridi


Event Podcast: Elizabeth Nugent "The Political Psychology of Repression: Identity and Polarization in Egypt and Tunisia"

| Mar. 28, 2018

Audio recording of a March 28, 2018 MEI Seminar with Elizabeth Nugent, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Middle East Initiative and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Part of the Middle East Initiative Research Fellows Seminar Series.

Workers protest withheld wages in Downtown Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Arab Responses to Western Hegemony: Experimental Evidence from Egypt

| July 21, 2016


Scholars have long held that Islamism—defined as a political ideology that demands the application of Islamic holy law and the deepening of religious identity—is in part a response to Western domination of Muslim lands. Drawing on the literatures on nationalism and international relations theory, we argue that Islamism is one of a menu of options that Muslims may adopt in response to Western hegemony—a menu that includes Arab nationalism and pro-Western accommodation. We hypothesize that a Muslim’s ideological response to Western domination is a function of the type of domination experienced—that is, military, cultural, or economic—as well as of individual-level characteristics such as intensity of religious practice. We test this hypothesis with a nationally representative survey experiment conducted in Egypt. We find that, among subjects in our study, pro-Western responses to Western domination were more common than “Islamist” or “nationalist” ones and that these were particularly driven by reminders of the West’s economic ascendancy. These findings suggest that foreign domination does not always yield defensive responses and often produces desires for greater cooperation with the hegemon.

Egyptian women line up to vote in the country's constitutional referendum in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Journal Article - Comparative Political Studies

Using the Qur’ān to Empower Arab Women? Theory and Experimental Evidence From Egypt

| Mar. 30, 2016


A growing body of scholarship on the political and economic subordination of women in the Muslim world has argued that widespread patriarchal attitudes toward women’s roles in public life can be ameliorated by offering progressive reinterpretations of Islamic scriptures. In this article, we explore this hypothesis with a large-scale survey experiment conducted among adult Egyptians in late 2013. In the study, a subset of respondents were exposed to an argument in favor of women’s political equality that was grounded in the Qur’ān, Islam’s holiest text. We found that this group was significantly more willing to express approval of female political leadership than those exposed to a non-religious argument in favor of women’s eligibility for political leadership. A further analysis of conditional treatment effects suggests that the religious justification for female political leadership was more likely to elicit agreement among less educated and less pious respondents, and when delivered by women and targeted at men. Our findings suggest that Islamic discourse, so often used to justify the political exclusion of women, can also be used to help empower them.