My research has been published in academic journals that include Arab Studies Quarterly, Middle East Journal, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Review of African Political Economy, and History Compass. I have also periodically published articles in Middle East Report. Below are brief descriptions of my publications with links provided when possible. A quick overview can be found on my Curriculum Vitae.
Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012.
"Reinterpreting Authoritarian Power: Syria's Hereditary Succession," Middle East Journal 65, 2 (2011): 197-212.
When Hafiz al-Asad died in 2000, his son Bashar became Syria's president. By examining an unresolved inconsistentcy in the leading accounts of Syria's succession, this article reveals the limitations of single-person rule analysis s the causal explanation for Syria's hereditary leadership selection. I provide an alternative explanation by emphasizing the role of senior elites in forming regime consensus around Bashar al-Asad's candidacy. Hereditary successions, therefore, reveal an instance of authoritarian continuity rahter than one likely to end in regime breakdown.
"Brotherly Intentions? The Egyptian Muslim Brothers and the Politics of a Debate," History Compass 8/4 (2010): 345-357.
This article surveys the contemporary debates about the Egyptian Society of Muslim Brothers. It argues that the debate focuses on the unknowable questions about the Islamists' governing intentions or assessing the group's "democratic" character. This article takes issue with these analytic points of departure and, instead, makes a case for contexualizing the organization's policies against the backdrop of contemporary Egyptian society. I achieve this by reviewing the group's philosophical development under the late period of the Mubarak presidency.
“Egypt: The Anatomy of Succession” Review of African Political Economy No. 35, 2 (2008): 301-314.
This article examines how the procedural aspects of Egypt’s first presidential election (2005) permitted the ruling regime to persist without a serious challenge to its power emerging. By taking stock of how the procedural rules of the game were manipulated to favor the incumbent and the creation of an administrative body with extra-judicial powers guaranteed the result, this article argues that the character of the amendment and election set a precedent that will likely favor the succession of the Hosni Mubarak’s son, Gamal.
“Parties Over: The Demise of Egypt’s Opposition Parties,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 31: 2 (November 2004): 215-233.
This article explores how the Egyptian government encourages fragmentation among its legalised political parties. Since 1998, the Political Parties Committee (PPC) has closed seven of the sixteen legal opposition parties. The government is not only stifling group development, but also preventing prominent independent members of parliament (MPs) from using already existing parties to challenge the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). By examining the government’s tactics towards opposition parties, this article shows that a re-entrenchment of authoritarianism has emerged, and argues that Egypt’s democratisation process has ended.
“Post-Islamist Rumblings in Egypt: The Emergence of the Wasat Party,” Middle East Journal Vol. 56: No. 3 (Summer 2002): 415-432.
This article examines the emergence of the Wasat party initiative in Egypt. Whether such a group constitutes a political development in Islamic groupings in comparison to the traditional paradigm is the main focus of the work. The Wasat group is analyzed within a post-Islamist framework. This article’s significance lies in its close examination of the Wasat party project. The influences on the initiative, the reason for its establishment, and its apparent inclusive ideology will help to determine if a post-Islamist project may be emerging.
“A Democracy with Fangs and Claws and its Effect on Egyptian Political Culture,” Arab Studies Quarterly Vol. 23 No 3 (Summer 2001): 83-99.
This article argues that Egyptian citizens are encouraged to
be apolitical because of the authoritarian character of the
institutions, actors, and intellectual political environment the state
maintains rather than originating from a timeless or essential cultural
attribute. By examining media campaigns against human rights activists,
using the Islamism as a bogeyman, and interfering with political
parties, the regime’s authoritarianism helps to keep it dominant
by discouraging challenges from society. This article, therefore,
explores the difference between apathetic and non-democratic political
The popular revolution of January-February in Egypt has thus far produced a structural change in the country's governing coalition rather than regime change per se. A great contest is underway to define the center of Egyptian politics - and the outcome is thoroughly uncertain.
"Egypt's Democratic Mirage," Foreign Affairs (February 7, 2011).
By playing the role of both arsonist and firefighter, the Egyptian government has forced protesters fleeing the regime to seek refuge with the regime. In doing so, has it ensured its own survival?
"Into Egypt's Uncharted Territory" (With Hesham Sallam & Chris Toensing) in Middle East Report Online (February 1, 2011).
For the second time in a week, huge pro-democracy protests in the streets of Egypt's cities were followed by concessions from Husni Mubarak and then by commentary from President Barack Obama. The Egyptian regime and its backers in Washington have accepted that Mubarak cannot remain head of state forever and so have embarked ipon Plan B for salvaging basic authoritarian proregatives. But, for the first time, the regime faces a wily opposition that holds significant intiative in its own hands. The outcome of Egypt's 2011 uprising hangs in the balance.
“The Brothers and the Wars,” Middle East Report (Spring 2009).
This article examines the Brothers’ increasing conservatism as a product of the regional dynamic of Israel’s war on Gaza and the group’s absorption of state repression. It also engages several competing arguments such as generational analysis used to explain the group’s internal diversity.
“Boxing in the Brothers,” (with Samer Shehata), Middle East Report Online (August 2007).
Co-authored with Samer Shehata, it is the sequel to “The Brotherhood Goes to Parliament”. In this piece Samer and I consider the government’s repressive response against the Society’s continuing electoral mobilization in national university student elections and its pressure in parliament. This piece also examines and provides context to the Muslim Brothers poorly conceived “al-Azhar Demonstration” in December 2006 and the arrests that followed, which included the detention of Deputy Guide Khairyat al-Shatir. Lastly, this article considers the March 2007 constitutional amendments.
"NDP Conference: A Leap towards Reform or Succession?" Arab Reform Bulletin (October 2006).
This brief article recounts and analyzes the actual and symbolic politics behind the 2006 ruling party conference in Cairo. It provides a snapshot of where Gamal Mubarak’s potential succession stood in September 2006.
“The Brotherhood Goes to Parliament,” (with Samer Shehata) Middle East Report No. 240 (Fall 2006): 32-40.
Co-authored with Samer Shehata, this article argues that since arriving in parliament, the Brothers’ bloc of 88 focused their activities on nationalist and political issues such as bird flu, Emergency Law, and judicial independence. Brimming with primary research and interviews with members from the bloc, this article discusses how the group organizes their parliamentary activities, interacts with the wider Society of Muslim Brothers, and uses staffers called the “Parliamentary Kitchen” in order to raise the level of institutional seriousness in the Egyptian People’s Assembly.
"The Brotherhood Goes to Parliament" was listed as What to Read on Egyptian Politics by Mona El-Ghobashy in Foriegn Affairs in March 2009.
“Damanhour by Hook or by Crook,” Middle East Report No. 238 (Spring 2006): 26-27.
This short piece recounts my research experience of ethnographically shadowing a candidate (Gamal Heshmat) from the Muslim Brothers in the Egyptian Delta town of Damanhour during the 2005 parliamentary elections. The article shows what Egyptian elections and the struggle between the government and Muslim Brothers looked like in arguably the most contentious parliamentary contest of 2005.
“Rhetorical Acrobatics and Reputations: Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights,” Middle East Report No. 235 (Summer 2005): 2-7.
This article examines Egypt’s newly created National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) as well as its first report, which was lauded for its criticisms of the Egyptian government. The piece discusses the trajectory and history behind such a council as well as its soft power reach in society as the ruling party pursued political reform.
"IT Development in Egypt: Prospects and Obstacles," Information Technology in Egypt: Challenges and Impact Cairo: AUC Press (2001): 290-299.
This piece, written when I was a Sasakawa Fellow in the Political Science Department’s MA program at the American University in Cairo, examines the linkages between technology and political development. It finds that there is no empirical evidence to support the Egyptian government's claims that technology is an all-encompassing solution to development.
Book review of Mohammed Zahid's The Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's Succession Crisis (London: I.B. Tauris, 2010) Middle East Journal 64/4 (Autumn 2010): 656-657.Book review of Alan George’s Syria: Neither Bread nor Freedom (London: Zed Press, 2003) Arab Studies Journal Vol. XI No.2/Vol. XII No.1 (Fall 2003/Spring 2004): 178-180.
“Of Mosquitoes and Modernity,” Book review of Timothy Mitchell’s Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-politics, Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002) Global Dialogue Vol. 5, No. 1-2 (Winter/Spring 2003): 146-149.
"Encouraging the Outcome Through Silence," Jadaliyya, February 3, 2011.
"Redefine the Debate,” Foreign Policy (November/December 2007).
This is a commissioned response to Marc Lynch’s Memo to the Muslim Brothers’ General Guide Mahdi Akif, which is entitled “How to Talk to America” (FP, August 2007).
“Hear out the Muslim Brotherhood,” (with Samer Shehata) Boston Globe (March 25, 2007); Also appeared in the International Herald Tribune (March 26, 2007).
This op-ed, co-authored with Samer Shehata, makes the case why the US government has a responsibility and an interest in engaging the Egyptian Muslim Brothers.
“Gamal Mubarak’s journey to power,” Daily
Star (November 3, 2004).
Written as an attempt to come to terms with why US pressure to democratize Arab governments fails to produce its stated objectives.
"Egypt's Army and Muslim Brothers Join in Dance of Power," The Indypendent (April 27-May 17, 2011): 12-13.