Monday, 30 October 2017, 5.00 pm - 6.30 pm |
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Legalizing Authoritarianism in Egypt


Amr Hamzawy
(Stanford University)

Chair: Alia Mossallam
(AUC / EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung 2017-18)

Abstract
Egypt's new authoritarianism is closing the public space, cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of politics, and pushing citizens away from peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. Fundamental to these policies has been lawmaking. Passing new undemocratically spirited laws such as the protest and terrorism laws, introducing legal amendments targeting civil society and opposition parties, and extending the jurisdiction of the military court system to refer more civilians to military trials have been at the center of the new authoritarian adaptation of lawmaking for its own purposes.

Amr Hamzawy 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. Between 2016 and 2017, he served as a senior fellow in the Middle East program and the Democracy and Rule of Law program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC.
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. He is currently writing a new book on contemporary Egyptian politics, titled "Egypt’s New Authoritarianism".
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 Egyptian independent newspaper Shorouk and a weekly op-ed to the London based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.