Breakfast Forum

Webinar: Egypt: An electoral system without democracy

19 nov 2020 08:30 09:30 ENG

Mari Norbakk (HVL), Knut S. Vikør (UiB) and Ingrid Sjursen (CMI)  in conversation with Sarah Tobin (CMI). 

In October and November, Egypt holds parliamentary elections. It is almost ten years since the Arab Spring removed the regime of Hosni Mubarak, but for the last seven years the country has been ruled by general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Although Egypt has experienced some economic growth, it has also seen a return to the oppressive political environment that characterized Mubarak’s presidency, with thousands held in prisons on political grounds and an increase in human rights violations.
How did we get here? What is the role of the Muslim Brotherhood today? Who should be held accountable and how? What has happened to Egypt’s democracy? And what are the current aspirations?


Join the seminar Zoom. 


In this meeting Mari Norbakk (HVL) and Knut S. Vikør (UiB) will discuss with Sarah Tobin (CMI) the historical background and the political and economic conditions that have led to the current situation. Joining them is a representative from the Rafto Foundation, Ingrid Sjursen (CMI), who will continue the important conversation on human rights violation in Egypt. The Rafto prize 2020 was awarded to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), for its work to bring such abuses to light. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms is an Egyptian human rights organisation based in Cairo and recipient of the 2020 Rafto prize.


Mari Norbakk is a social anthropologist and Associate Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her research highlights how economic shifts within Egypt to stimulate national level growth contribute to an erosion of the Egyptian middle class. She has further engaged with how economic precarity and political suppression alters how people engage with national structures.

Knut S. Vikør is a professor of the History of the Middle East at the University of Bergen. He has published on Sufism in North Africa, and on the history of Islamic law, as well as several books for a Norwegian public.

Sarah Tobin is a Research Professor at CMI. She is engaged in a number of research projects on Middle East politics and economy, Islam and culture, and displacement and refugees. Her monograph is "Everyday Piety: Islam and Economy in Jordan" (Cornell UP 2016).




Photo: Ahmad Hammoud on flickr