Seminar: Democracy in Contemporary Egypt | Departmental | Events

Seminar: Democracy in Contemporary Egypt

This is a past event
10:00 am
[Please note: On 17 September, Prof Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, Professor of Political Science at Cairo University, will start proceedings with a Keynote address: see separate event listing for details.]Advance registration required. To register your attendance please contact Schedule10.00-11.30 Session 1: Dynamics of Popular Support for DemocracyIn a new democracy such as Egypts, it is important to explore levels of popular support for democracy and their dynamics over time. This session presents the results of two waves of public opinion surveys. How many Egyptians are principled supporters of democracy and how many support democracy instrumentally as a means to other ends? After three years of political and economic turbulence, how many would prefer stability even at the expense of democracy? To what extent to religious, economic and political attitudes affect levels of popular support for democracy?Prof Stephen Whitefield, Oxford University (with Dr Mazen Hassan & Dr Elisabeth Kendall)Dr Elizabeth Frazer, Head of Politics at Oxford University11.30-11.45 Refreshments11.45-13.00 Session 2: Democracy as InstitutionsOnce elected, democratic politicians must operate through effective as well as accountable institutions - parliament, the presidency, bureaucracies, and courts. But when institutions are new, they also can fail to deliver what politicians want? And the design of institutions and how they interact with one another can produce both positive institutional relationships as well as destructive and conflictual ones. How well are Egypts political institutions performing? And how well do they work together?James Watt, HM Ambassador to Egypt 2011-14Dr Mazen Hassan, Cairo University13.00-14.00 Lunch14.00-15.20 Session 3: Democracy & the MilitaryRelationships of elected politicians with the military are often unproblematic. Armies can pay a price for holding power themselves or for using force in defence of an authoritarian regime. But the moment in which the military relinquishes power to democratic forces can also be tense and the transition to civilian control can be long and uncertain. The comparative scholarly literature on civilian-military relations should surely be of great interest to Egyptians. What is the relationship of the Egyptian army to democracy? And how established are mechanisms for achieving civilian control?General Sameh Seif Elyazal, Chairman of Al Gomhouria Center for Political & Security StudiesProf Al Stepan, Columbia University15.20-15.40 Refreshments15.40-17.00 Session 4: Democracy & OutcomesDemocracy is not just about processes of decision making. As important as representation and institutional relations are, democracy is widely expected to deliver outcomes that other systems of government do not: increased economic growth, better social welfare, more equality. And if democratic regimes fail at least to make progress on these outcomes, there is the danger that citizens may remove their support for the system as a whole rather than simply voting for a different party. How much difference then has democracy made to such outcomes in Egypt so far? And will the effect of failure to change peoples lives be to make Egypt turn away from democracy?Mr Neil Ketchley, London School of EconomicsMr Tarek Amer, CEO of the National Bank of Egypt (UK)17.00-17.15 Concluding Remarks

Session 2: Democracy as Institutions

Speakers: Dr. Mazen Hassan, Cairo University, Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, University of Oxford Download: (38.1MB)

Session 3: Democracy and the Military

Speakers: General Sameh Seif Elyazal, Chairman of Al Gomhouria Center for Political and Security Studies, Professor Alfred Stepan, Columbia University Download: (75.7MB)

Session 4: Democracy and Outcomes

Speakers: Tarek Amer, CEO of the National Bank of Egypt (UK) Download: (40.7MB)

Keynote Address: Democracy in Contemporary Egypt

Speakers: Professor Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, Professor of Political Science at Cairo University , Stephen Whitefield Download: (69.1MB)