Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Although the Papyrus Revolution was a remarkable accomplishment for the Egyptian people, the ongoing transition has spurred trepidation as well as hope in the United States. Past transfers of power in Cairo have led to dramatic policy shifts, giving Washington little reason to believe that the latest leadership change will be different. And while the Mubarak regime may be gone, much of the security apparatus, bureaucracy, and economic dysfunction that sparked the revolution remain in place. As a new, presumably liberal-led government takes shape, these and other challenges will place tremendous pressure on both Cairo and the U.S.-Egyptian relationship.
In this new Policy Focus, Washington Institute senior fellow and former Pentagon official David Schenker describes the concrete steps Washington can take to shore up Egypt’s next leaders, preserve the revolution’s democratic direction, and prevent the sort of stagnation that could foster Islamist ascendance. This effort entails investing heavily and quickly in the new government’s success by maintaining current aid levels while increasing engagement between U.S. and Egyptian NGOs on electoral, governance, and civil-society issues. Washington should also encourage Egypt to reinvigorate its waning regional role through stabilization efforts in Sudan, Libya, and Gaza. By improving Cairo’s standing at home and abroad, the United States can help ensure that Egypt’s democratic experiment succeeds.
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Special Issue: Social Media and Political Change: Capacity, Constraint, and Consequence (free full text of all articles)
Journal of Communication
This introductory essay highlights the key findings, methodological tool kit, and production process of this Special Issue. We argue that communication researchers are uniquely positioned to analyze the relationships between social media and political change in careful and nuanced ways, in terms of both causes and consequences. Finally, we offer a working definition of social media, based on the diverse and considered uses of the term by the contributors to the collection. Social media consists of (a) the information infrastructure and tools used to produce and distribute content that has individual value but reflects shared values; (b) the content that takes the digital form of personal messages, news, ideas, that becomes cultural products; and (c) the people, organizations, and industries that produce and consume both the tools and the content.
Categories: Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, government and politics, international, Journal of Communication, media and entertainment, political process, social and cultural issues, social media, technology and internet
How We’re Doing Compared to the Rest of the World
Source: Brookings Institution
In the past month, President Obama has pressed the autocratic president of our most important Arab ally to heed the demands of his people and step down, established a workman-like relationship with China’s president, and delivered a State of the Union address that sought to “win the future.” Taken together, these critical events highlight the complexity of America’s global leadership dilemma: whether to cooperate or to compete; whether to partner with some autocrats while pressuring others. Over the past three decades, American presidents have found their ability to deal with these dilemmas affected by the shifting balances of relative power in the international system. In the seventh “How We’re Doing” Index, experts at the Brookings Institution explored some of the key data behind our leading partners and competitors.
Categories: Brazil, business and economics, China, Egypt, environment, European Commission, India, labor, Mexico, military and defense, Russia, Turkey
Implication’s of Egypt’s Turmoil on Global Oil and Natural Gas Supply (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Secrecy News)
The change in Egypt’s government will likely not have a significant direct impact on the global oil and natural gas markets. There may be some short-term movements in price, mostly caused by perceived instability in the market place, but these would most likely be temporary. However, prolonged instability that raises the specter of spreading to other oil and natural gas producers in the region would likely add to upward price pressures. Although Egypt is considered an energy producer or net exporter overall, its oil and natural gas exports are not large enough to affect regional or global prices. The most serious impact would be on regional recipients of its natural gas exports.
Egypt’s main influence on energy markets is its control of the Suez Canal and the Suez- Mediterranean oil pipeline (SUMED). The current low utilization of these two pieces of infrastructure would likely limit any affect of their closure in the near term. Both the oil and natural gas industry would, over time, find alternative routes to circumvent the canal and pipeline if necessary.