Egypt’s Economy Still Stinks, Despite the Best Efforts of the so-called “Dream Team”

Feb 03

More on Egypt’s economy: despite the massive aid package given by the axis of autocracy in support of the coup, there is still an extreme shortage of dollars, and the economy is no where close to stabilizing, much less achieving sustainable growth or a resumption of meaningful investment. The black market in hard currency, despite the best efforts of the Central Bank, appears to have entrenched itself for the near future as a fixture in the Egyptian economy, with all that implies for the fiscal health — or more accurately — the fiscal distress of the national economy.  

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My Presentation on International Law and the Coup at Georgetown University

Jan 30

At my presentation yesterday at a conference hosted by Georgetown University, I was asked to speak on international law and the coup.  I spoke about the Statute of Rome, its definition of “crimes against humanity,” the standards for individual culpability, the risks that senior Egyptian officials could be indicted for their actions in the wake of the coup, and what that means for the possibility of democratization in the near or medium term in Egypt.  Here are my slides for that presentation.

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Due Process in Islamic Law

Jan 28

Did medieval Muslim, specifically Sunni jurists, have a conception of due process?  While they did not have a term that corresponds to what common law lawyers call “due process,” they elaborated numerous procedural and jurisdictional rules that manifest concern with that constellation of values which is associated with due process and, in the terms of US constitutional law, “ordered liberty.”  I am currently finishing up a translation of an important medieval treatise on the powers of various public officials which touches on many of these issues, Shihab al-Din al-Qarafi’s, al-Ihkam fi Tamyiz al-Fatawa ‘an al-Ahkam wa Tasarrufat al-Qadi wa-l-Imam.  I have pasted below a particularly interesting discussion on the question of when it is permissible for an individual to determine, unilaterally, whether sufficient legal cause exists to exercise some legal right or privilege, and when that legal right or privilege cannot be exercised without a prior judicial determination that exercise of the right in question is legally justified (Question no. 32 from that book).  Any comments or questions would be appreciated.

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“What Killed Egyptian Democracy?” — An Egyptian Friend Says “I would say a deep-seated corrupt anti-intellectual culture permeating a mafia state controlled by armed thugs.”

Jan 25

Earlier this week, the Boston Review published an essay of mine titled “What Killed Egyptian Democracy?”  An Egyptian friend of mine, an academic who completed his Ph.D. in the US and then returned to Egypt to teach, sent me his own reaction to my essay.  I reproduce it below (name omitted):

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What Killed Egyptian Democracy? — A Boston Review Forum

Jan 21

This month’s issue of the Boston Review’s Forum was dedicated the question of what went wrong in the Egyptian transition.  I had  the honor of writing the principal piece, which elicited thoughtful responses from my colleagues, Ellis Goldberg, Andrew March, Nathan Brown, Akbar Ganji, Anne Norton and Micheline Ishay. Space restraints, of course, did not allow them a full response, nor me a response to their limited responses, but nevertheless, I thought the editors of the Boston Review did an excellent job putting this forum together. I would like to thank them for inviting me to write the piece, inviting these distinguished scholars to respond, and producing an excellent final version for the public. Finally, I’d like to thank Nader Hashimi and Danny Postel for inviting me to the University of Denver to lecture on Egypt’s transition. That lecture ultimately give birth to this forum.

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Blog post on The Boston Review

Jan 13

Last week, The Boston Review published a short post by me on the significance of the Egyptian government’s decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. I was happy to find out that the same piece was picked up The Daily Dish and Informed Comment.

Their January/February forum will be dedicated to the question of Egypt’s failed democratic transition.  They graciously invited me to write the principal essay.   Respondents are Andrew March, Ellis Goldberg, Nathan Brown, Micheline Ishay, Akbar Ganji, and Anne Norton. It is scheduled to appear on the third anniversary of the January 25th Revolution.

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Ian Shapiro and “Power-Based Resourcism”

Dec 01

I just finished reading a recent article of the Yale Political Science Professor, Ian Shapiro, “On Non-Domination,” in which he contrasts his view of “power-based resourcism” and non-domination as the bedrock of justice to egalitarian and libertarian conceptions of justice. 

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Comparing the June 30 Protest Law with the Morsi Government’s Proposed Demonstration Law

Nov 25

Here is a link to a memo providing a detailed, article by article comparison between the law promulgated by the June 30 government and that proposed by the Morsi government.

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Egypt’s New Protest Law

Nov 25

The “revolutionary” government — headed by the interim President, Adly Mansur, previously president of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, otherwise known as a bastion for liberal and democratic values — has passed a new law titled “Organization of the Right to Public Meetings, Marches and Peaceful Demonstrations.” Here is a link to the official version as published in the Egyptian Gazette.

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Documenting the Deaths from the Rab’a Massacre, International Criminal Law, and Egypt’s Future

Oct 19

I came across this 100-page report today documenting the names of many of the dead from the Rab’a Massacre and the circumstances of their death.  I cannot comment on the details, but I think it is crucial that Egyptians face the grim details of what happened on August 14.  By any objective measure, the Egyptian police and military committed “serious violations of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions,” i.e., they committed war crimes

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