Amr Hamzawy is the director of the Carnegie Middle East Program. He studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin.
Amr Hamzawy is the director of the Carnegie Middle East Program. He studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin. He was previously an associate professor of political science at Cairo University and a professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo.
His research and teaching interests as well as his academic publications focus on democratization processes in Egypt, tensions between freedom and repression in the Egyptian public space, political movements and civil society in Egypt, contemporary debates in Arab political thought, and human rights and governance in the Arab world. His new book On The Habits of Neoauthoritarianism – Politics in Egypt Between 2013 and 2019 appeared in Arabic in September 2019.
Hamzawy is a former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the January 25, 2011 revolution. He is also a former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. Hamzawy contributes a weekly op-ed to the Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi.
In 2002, Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) embarked on an effort to project a new, reformist image. Rising domestic demands for political accountability, deteriorating socioeconomic conditions, and popular dissatisfaction with the performance of NDP-led governments have forced the party to reconsider its public profile.
At present there are at least three possible readings of Egyptian politics. There is the government version, in which President Mubarak's decision to amend Article 76 of the constitution to permit direct and pluralistic elections for the presidency is an historic reform step approved by a majority of Egyptians, first via the two chambers of parliament and then via the May 25 public referendum.
The lack of democratic breakthroughs worthy of mention in Arab countries has spurred debate about barriers to change. Much of this debate has focused on economic, social, and cultural factors, or on the fragility of political forces demanding democracy. The debate would be incomplete, however, without a discussion of the means by which the authoritarian Arab regimes control their societies.
The electoral system in Morocco is mixed. There are 295 seats in parliament elected via proportional representation in local districts and an additional 30 seats allocated to women and elected on a nationwide basis. The newly established threshold (the proportion of votes a party must win to get a seat in parliament) is 7 percent in any given district.
The Lebanon war of 2006 changed the political environment in the Arab Middle East at two levels. The first was temporary and receded after the thirty-three day war had ended. The second, however, was structural and rooted in the reality of Arab societies, where the practices of ruling elites and opposition movements reveal the fragility of opportunities for democratic change.
The Muslim Brotherhood's draft party platform sends mixed signals about the movement's political views and positions. Although it has already been widely circulated, the document does not yet have final approval from the movement's guidance bureau.