Dr. Holger Albrecht is an assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo and Jennings Randolph senior fellow (2012-2013). His main research focus is on political opposition in the authoritarian regimes, transition to democracy, and civil-military relations in the Middle East and North Africa. His new book, “Raging Against the Machine: Political Opposition under Authoritarianism in Egypt,” is forthcoming with Syracuse University Press.

Summary

  • Amid intense political contestation and deep rifts between Islamists and liberal political forces, Egypt’s new constitution was adopted on December 22, 2012.
  • Several articles include stronger emphasis on religion than the 1971 constitution, yet its character is largely secular.
  • The constitutional text departs from Egypt’s authoritarian path, but also from a previous consensus among political forces to curb presidential powers.
  • The state assumes a prominent role as a guardian of liberties and provider of human development, perceiving citizens as objects of that state rather than its ultimate authority.

About this Brief

Dr. Holger Albrecht is an assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo and Jennings Randolph senior fellow (2012-2013). His main research focus is on political opposition in the authoritarian regimes, transition to democracy, and civil-military relations in the Middle East and North Africa. His new book, “Raging Against the Machine: Political Opposition under Authoritarianism in Egypt,” is forthcoming with Syracuse University Press.

Latest Publications

What Can the Taliban Learn From Past Afghan Conquests and Collapses?

What Can the Taliban Learn From Past Afghan Conquests and Collapses?

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

By: William Byrd, Ph.D.

The Taliban’s lightning conquest of Afghanistan caught many people by surprise, perhaps including the Taliban themselves. However, it is not the country’s first episode of an unexpectedly quick military victory and consequent rapid change in regime. Historical examples may provide relevant lessons for the victorious Taliban as they begin to govern the country, including pitfalls to be avoided in their own and the nation’s interest.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

The Need to Build on Security Gains in Mozambique

The Need to Build on Security Gains in Mozambique

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

By: Thomas P. Sheehy

The Rwandan armed forces and police deployed to the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique have made impressive gains combatting the Islamic State-affiliated al-Shabaab militants that have devastated the area. These 1,000 or so forces secured the key port city of Mocimboa da Praia in August, and the militants — who have committed grave atrocities, killed thousands and driven nearly a million people from their homes — have been forced to retreat from several areas of this natural resource-rich region. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism

Making Sense of North Korea’s Missile Test

Making Sense of North Korea’s Missile Test

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

By: Frank Aum

North Korea announced on September 13 that it had tested long-range cruise missiles over the weekend. It described the missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance.” The test caused alarm in North Korea’s neighbors — South Korea and Japan, both U.S. allies — as the revelation now puts both countries within striking distance. But despite the test, a spokesperson for the Biden administration said the United States remains prepared to engage with North Korea. USIP’s Frank Aum discusses the significance of the tests, the arms race on the Korean Peninsula, and what signals North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be sending to the United States with this latest test. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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