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If the process of integration into the global capitalist economy influenced the democratization process in Egypt indirectly through its impacts on state-society relationships, the foreign policies of Western great powers have had a more direct influence. During the Cold War, the question of democracy-promotion had been relegated to a lower priority on American and European foreign policy agendas. Following the Cold War era, the collapse of communism was marked as the ideological triumph of liberal democracy. Promoted as the most enlightened form of social organization across the globe, the normative role of liberal democracy in development was increasingly celebrated. This prompted the United States and the EU to address the question of democracy-promotion as one of the important foreign policy objectives toward Third World countries, including Egypt. This greater interest in the promotion of democracy manifested itself through a variety of forms, including the allocation of financial assistance to civil society organizations focusing on the fields of democracy and human rights, the initiation of partnership projects and policy initiatives to promote democratic transitions, and the use of traditional and public diplomacy infused with normative references to democratic governance and human rights.
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“National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement,” (Washington, DC: The White House 1995), p. 2.
These programs were developed and implemented by a number of US government and non-governmental agencies, the most important of which were (i) the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a highly decentralized government agency founded in 1961, and operates relatively independently from the Department of State, and (ii) the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an independent foundation that was established on the initiative of President Reagan in 1983, and receives substantial funding out of the US democracy promotion budget.
See the USAID/Egypt website at: http://www.usaid.gov/egypt.
“Egypt Human Development Report 2008,” op.cit., pp. 61–75.
Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 539, 21–27 June 2001.
Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 539, 21–27 June 2001.
Cited in Ibid.
“Mid-Term Evaluation of The NGO Service Center, Cairo, Egypt.” A report submitted by Development Associates to USAID in response to IQC Contract No. AEP-00-00-00004-00, Task Order No. 804, 14 August 2003; at: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/pdaby540.pdf.
Check the USAID/Egypt website at: http://www.usaid.gov/egypt.
“Resolution on Human Rights, Democracy, and Development.” Bulletin of the European Communities, 24, 11 (1991).
“Treaty on European Union,” November 1993; at: http://europa.eu/eu-law/decision-making/treaties/pdf/treaty_on_european_union/treaty_on_european_union_en.pdf.
“The Final Declaration of the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference,” 27–28 November, 1995; at: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/euromed/docs/bd_en.pdf.
“The EU/Egypt Association Agreement,” 2001; at: http://eeas.europa.eu/egypt/aa/06_aaa_en.pdf.
The MDP was initiated following a European Parliament’s initiative to support local and regional institutions and promote civil society by strengthening NGOs involved in the furthering of democracy and rule of law.
“Fact Sheet: President Bush Calls for a “Forward Strategy of Freedom” to Promote Democracy in the Middle East.” The White House (Office of the Press Secretary), 6 November 2003.
“The Middle East Partnership Initiative: Building Hope for the Years Ahead”. U.S. Department of State, December 12, 2002; at: < http://www.heritage.org/Research/MiddleEast/hl772.cfm>.
This is according to the public records of the US State Department. See < http://2002-2009-mepi.state.gov/index.htm>.
“Remarks at U.S.-Arab Economic Forum,” Secretary Colin L. Powell, Detroit, Michigan, 29 September 2003; at: < http://www.mafhoum.com/press6/162S66.htm>.
“Remarks by President George W. Bush at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy,” United States Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC, 6 November 2003; at: < http://www.ned.org/george-w-bush/remarks-by-president-george-w-bush-at-the-20th-anniversary>.
Al- Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 733, 10–16 March 2005.
For more details about these projects, see the MEPI-Egypt page at the US State Department website at: http://mepi.state.gov/mepi-highlights/egypt2.html.
“The Greater Middle East Initiative,” Al- Hayat (London), 13 February 2004.
“Partnership for Progress and a Common Future with the Region of the Broader Middle East and North Africa,” Sea Island, 9 June 2004; at: < http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/summit/2004seaisland/partnership.html>; and “G-8 Plan of Support for Reform,” Sea Island, 9 June 2004; at: < http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/summit/2004seaisland/reform.html>.
“Wider Europe—Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with Our Eastern and Southern Neighbours.” The Commission of the European Communities, March 2003; at: http://eeas.europa.eu/enp/pdf/pdf/com03_104_en.pdf.
“Reinvigorating EU Actions on Human Rights and Democratization with Mediterranean Partners: Strategic Guidelines.” The Commission of the European Communities, May 2003; at: http://aei.pitt.edu/38142/1/COM_(2003)_294.pdf.
“Strengthening the EU’s Partnership with the Arab World.” The Council of the European Union and the European Commission, December 2003; at: http://aei.pitt.edu/43361/1/Strengthening.the.EU's.Partnership.pdf.
“The Interim Report on an EU Strategic Partnership with the Mediterranean and the Middle East,” March 2004; at: < http://www.tedmontgomery.com/bblovrvw/ENP/EUStrategicPartnership.html>.
For a detailed review of these funds, see at: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/eu_egypt/political_relations/index_en.htm.
“Egypt Human Development Report 2008,” op.cit., p. 67.
Ibid, p. 65.
For more details about the legal obstacles facing civil society in Egypt, see “Egypt Human Development Report 2008,” op.cit., pp. 87–94.
Although there are no official figures on the number of civil society organizations that were closed down or denied licensing, Abdelrahman (2004: 136) estimated from her interviews with some MOSA officials and NGO activists that in 1995 alone, around 48 NGOs were closed either permanently or for the purpose of replacing their board of directors with new government-appointed boards. In the same year, an addition of 26 NGOs were denied licensing, most of them for involvement in politically-oriented activities.
Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 681, 11–17 March 2004.
The United States first set out the project in 1950 when it suggested establishing a Middle East Defense Organization (MEDO), and President Eisenhower reintroduced the idea in 1953 when he proposed to establish an alliance between the northern tier countries of the Middle East in order to contain the Soviet Union. The countries meant were Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq. In response to this proposal, Iraq and Turkey signed a security pact that became known as the Baghdad Pact in February 1955, and Britain joined in April 1995; under this security pact the three countries pledged to defend each other in case of a foreign aggression. The Pact, however, was met with vehement opposition from Egypt and the advocates of the Arab regional system, and this led to its collapse in 1958 following the outbreak of the Iraqi revolution.
“US Overseas Loans and Grants: Obligations and Loan Authorizations Database” (Washington, DC: USAID, 2006).
Whereas US military aid to Egypt (approximately US$1.3 billion annually) has remained almost constant over the last three decades, the United States has gradually reduced economic aid to Egypt from 1998 onward as part of a 10-year agreement reached in the late 1990s known as the “Glide Path Agreement.” The agreement stipulated that US economic aid to Egypt would be reduced by an average of US$40 million annually. Accordingly, the United States reduced its economic aid to Egypt from US$815 million in 1998 to US$655 in 2002, US$490 in 2006, US$411 in 2008, US$290 in 2009, and US$250 in 2010. For the year 2011, the Obama Administration has requested US$250 million in economic aid for Egypt, the same amount it received in 2010. For additional information on US aid to Egypt, see Sharp (2009).
“Egypt: Proposed constitutional amendments greatest erosion of human rights in 26 years.” Amnesty International, 18 March 2007; at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE12/008/2007/en/.
“Egyptian Political Reform Mixed, but Trend Is Positive.” U.S. State Department, 20 March 2007; at: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2007/03/20070320174051esnamfuak0.4900019.html#axzz3aPs1KbOf.
Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 835, 8–14 March 2007.
“Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the elections to the People’s Assembly of Egypt,” A 249/10, Brussels, 6 December 2010.
Cited in Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2004/2005 (Arab Strategic Report 2004/2005), op.cit., p. 414.
Cited in Ibid, p. 414.
Cited in Ibid, p. 414.
Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), 17–23 February 2005.
“In Egypt, Souring Attitudes Toward United States.” Gallup, 16 December 2008; at: < http://www.gallup.com/poll/113422/Egypt-Souring-Attitudes-Toward-United-States.aspx>.
“Arab Public Opinion Surveys.” Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development; at: < http://sadat.umd.edu/surveys/index.htm>.
“Negative Attitudes toward the United States in the Muslim World: Do They Matter?” World Public Opinion, 17 May 2007; at: < http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/361.php?nid=&id=&pnt=361&lb=brme>.
“Perceptions of U.S. Democracy Promotion: Middle Eastern Views.” The Project on Middle East Democracy, May 2008; at: < http://pomed.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/pomed-perceptions-i-middle-east.pdf>.
“Egyptian Citizens’ Perceptions of Transparency and Corruption.” The Final Report of the 2009 National Public Opinion Survey at: http://www.cipe.org/sites/default/files/publication-docs/2009%20Egypt%20National%20Survey%20Report%20EN.pdf.
These remarks were mentioned by Bruce Abrams, a senior officer in the USAID/Egypt office, in one of the email correspondences which took place between the author and Mr. Abrams over the period 5–29 March 2009.
“Obama Faults Spy Agencies’ Performance in Gauging Mideast Unrest, Officials Say,” The New York Times, 4 February, 2011 at: < http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/world/middleeast/05cia.html?_r=0>.
“Arab spring has created ‘intelligence disaster’, warns former CIA boss,” The Guardian, 28 August 2011; at: < http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/28/arab-spring-intelligence-disaster-scheuer>.
European Commission, A Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean, COM (2011) 200 final, 8 March 2011; at: < http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0200:FIN:EN:PDF>. European Commission, A New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood, COM (2011) 303, 25 May 2011; at: < http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0303:FIN:en:PDF>.
“Timeline: US indecision on Egypt,” Al- Jazeera (English), 11 February 2011; at: < http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112108715425794.html>.
“Clinton calls for a peaceful transition to democracy in Egypt,” CNN, 30 January 2011; at: < http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/01/30/us.egypt/index.html>.
“Egyptian crisis: Dithering White House all at sea,” The Guardian, 6 February 2011; at: < http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/06/barack-obama-egypt-policy>.
“Beyond Tahrir: The Trajectory of Egypt's Transition.” United States Institute of Peace, 27 July 2011; at: < http://www.usip.org/publications/beyond-tahrir-the-trajectory-egypts-transition>.
“The Egyptian Dilemma,” Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 1085, 16–22 February 2012.
For more details on the linkage between coups and democracy in the post-Cold War era, see Marinov/Goemans (2013).
The Iranian complex refers to the US fear of unpredictable Islamist-oriented mass movements that can threaten American interests by replacing a US-friendly regime with a US-hostile one, similar to what happened in Iran in 1979. See Farahat (2013) and Gerges (1999: 236-7).
“Overtures to Egypt’s Islamists Reverse Longtime U.S. Policy,” The New York Times, 3 January 2012; at: < http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/world/middleeast/us-reverses-policy-in-reaching-out-to-muslim-brotherhood.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.
“Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt,” The Washington Times, 5 April 2012; at: < http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/5/muslim-brotherhood-seeks-us-alliance-as-it-ascends/?page=all>. See also, “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington,” The Daily Beast, 5 April 2012; at: < http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/05/egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood-woos-washington.html>; and “Road towards US-Brotherhood friendship trodden long before Morsi's election,” Al- Ahram Online (Cairo), 17 July 2012; at: < http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/140/47897/Egypt/First--days/Road-towards-USBrotherhood-friendship-trodden-long.aspx>.
“Conversations on Diplomacy Moderated by Charlie Rose,” 20 June 2012; at: < http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/06/193554.htm>.
See, for example, “Muslim Brotherhood Declares Victory In Egypt Election,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 18 June 2012; at: http://www.rferl.org/content/egypt-mursi-muslim-brotherhood-election/24617277.html.
Al- Sharq Al- Awsat (London), 24 June 2012.
Al- Masry Al- Youm (Cairo), 24 October 2012.
“A letter from Begato reveals the forgery of Presidential elections,” Al- Wafd (Cairo), 28 May 2013.
“Israel-Egypt security cooperation at one of highest levels since peace deal, say officials on both sides,” Haaretz, 9 August 2012; at: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/2.459/israel-egypt-security-cooperation-at-one-of-highest-levels-since-peace-deal-say-officials-on-both-sides-1.457085.
“A honeymoon that wasn’t: Egypt’s new Islamist leaders have so far failed to embrace their Gazan brothers,” The Economist, 29 September 2012; at: < http://www.economist.com/node/21563776>.
“The United States' Reaction to Egypt's November 22 Decisions.” Press Statement, Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, 23 November 2012; at: < http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/11/200983.htm>.
“Referendum on the Egyptian Constitution.” Press Statement, Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, 25 December 2012; at: < http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/12/202381.htm>.
“Kerry Announces $250 Million in U.S. Aid for Egypt,” The New York Times, 3 March 2013; at: < http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/world/middleeast/kerry-announces-millions-in-us-aid-for-egypt.html?_r=0>.
“Q&A with US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson,” Ahram Online, 22 May 2013; at: < http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/71312/Egypt/Politics-/QA-with-US-Ambassador-to-Egypt-Anne-Patterson.aspx>.
- The Western Democracy Promotion Agenda in Egypt: The Persistence of the Democracy-Stability Dilemma
Gamal M. Selim
- Chapter 6
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