During the Arab Uprisings (or ‘Arab Spring’), the EU recognized that the populations in its ‘Southern Neighborhood’ had been marginalized politically and economically; that this produced instability in politics, economics, and security; and that EU policy needed to correct its previous mistake of equating authoritarian repression with stability. Unfortunately, the wrong lessons have been learned from the Uprisings: Europe’s Union and its most powerful states have returned to focusing ‘stability’ understood as a mere lack of change, and to believing that supporting violently authoritarian regimes is an acceptable ‘cost of doing business’ to keep migration in check and to counter terrorism in Europe’s ‘heartland’. After a brief review of the historical context within which Egypt’s current regime emerged, this contribution criticizes the orthodox analytical and policy narratives which represent Egypt as a ‘beacon of stability’ in a turbulent MENA Region, outlining an alternative view which highlights the structural causes of instability in regimes like Egypt’s. It then outlines this instability by noting Egypt’s own post-2013 track record on key domestic and regional issues. The chapter concludes by criticizing the way Western governments invoke the concept of ‘national interest’ to supporting al-Sisi’s (al-Sīsī) regime and those like it, noting that this approach reflects an inability to accept the evidence of the failure of authoritarian regimes to stabilize either internally or externally.
Gervasio, G., Teti, A. (2021). Ferocious and Fragile: Egypt and the Myth of ‘Authoritarian Stability’. In R.R. Francesca Maria Corrao (a cura di), States, Actors and Geopolitical Drivers in the Mediterranean. Perspectives on the New Centrality in a Changing Region (pp. 203-218). Londra : Palgrave Macmillan [10.1007/978-3-030-69000-7_8].