The January 2011 uprising that deposed Mubarak seemed to offer new possibilities for environmental governance in Egypt. Environmental activists and experts hoped for greater accountability in state institutions, more decentralized decision-making, and more open discussion of environmental challenges. Yet political uncertainty, economic turmoil, and a security vacuum exacerbated local conflicts over resources and undermined national regulatory efforts. With the Egyptian military cracking down on dissent across the political spectrum since July 2013, this talk explores changes and continuities in environmental contestation and policy-making, focusing on selected controversies regarding land, water, and energy resources.
Jeannie Sowers is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Hampshire. Her research focuses on political economy and environmental issues in the Middle East, particularly Egypt. She is the author of Environmental Politics in Egypt: Activists, Experts, and the State
(Routledge, 2013) and co-edited The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt, 1999-2011
(Verso, 2012). She has held postdoctoral appointments at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies, and St. Antony’s College, Oxford. She serves on the editorial boards of Global Environmental Politics and Middle East Report.