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Transnational NGOs between Popular Uprising and Authoritarian Regime: Developments in Egypt

Farah, A. O. (2013). Transnational NGOs between Popular Uprising and Authoritarian Regime: Developments in Egypt (CUTP012). London, UK: Department of International Politics, City University London, ISSN 2052-1898.


Scholars differentiate the concepts of internationalism and transnationalism. While the first refers to the connectivity between macro institutions such as states, multinational corporations and other institutionalized actors within and beyond national boundaries, the second term emphasizes public movements, organizations and communities engaged in de-territorialized socio‐cultural, political and economic activities. This paper focuses on the role of transnational NGOs (TNGOs) in recent developments in Egypt. The current scholarly debate on the so‐called “Arab spring” considers the mobilization of disempowered youth, intense media-tech application and sustained international pressure as crucial to ousting authoritarian regimes in North Africa. Delineating the role of TNGOs complements such findings. TNGO activities and responses to the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and to the ensuing coup in 2013 reveal the capability of such organizations to balance civic transformational oriented mobilizations with state centred institutional considerations. Furthermore though TNGOs cannot directly change the current political stalemate in Egypt, the power elite might misinterpret the changing and sometimes contradictory positions of these organizations and might eventually encourage the return to authoritarianism. After introductory remarks on the background of the uprising, the paper proceeds to theoretical discussion of transnational engagement followed by recent historical and current empirical developments.

Publication Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2013 the author
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics > Working Papers on Transnational Politics
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