Egypt’s economic crisis deprives the regime of the financial and economic resources needed to sustain a solid social base among public sector employees, and hence hinders the consolidation of authoritarian rule.
Grand projects, though moving quickly, are doing nothing to address the underlying structural problems plaguing Egypt’s economy.
While Tunisia is often and rightly lauded for its progress, social inequality and regional asymmetries are undermining the country’s democratic transition.
The only formal political opposition groups left in Egypt are continuing to play the regime’s game and, predictably, losing.
Markets largely dictate how the relationship between oil companies and host states will play out, with governments attempting to ensure they receive a ‘fair share’ of petroleum revenues.
For years, there has been debate on the extent to which Islam is compatible with the principles of democracy. Recently, the debate has shifted to a more productive question: when do religious actors decide to support a democratic transition process?
The relationship between the Egyptian regime and media is becoming more volatile, revealing new divides within the establishment.
The upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa have only just begun, and the hopes of Arab regimes and Western policymakers to retreat to old habits of authoritarian stability are doomed to fail.
In the years since the 2011 protests, rebellions have led to renewed repression in some places and chaos in others, but it may be too soon to say that they have failed.
Cheap oil is hurting Egypt’s economy in the short term and could have wider political consequences.