[P5887] Conflicts over Socioeconomic Reforms in Egypt and Tunisia Post-2011
Created by Irene Weipert-Fenner
Monday, 10/05/20 11:00 am
SUMMARY:Since the revolutions of 2011, the transformations of the political regimes in Egypt and Tunisia have taken different paths: Egypt, under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is experiencing the re-stabilization of authoritarianism, while Tunisia has seen a progressive, yet fragile, institutionalization of democratic rule. Yet, both countries share similar socioeconomic problems and the incapacity of post-revolutionary governments to improve the situation of the general populace. Most notable, governments in both countries signed agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and implemented austerity policies, some of which caused massive contention in Tunisia and little, yet remarkable protests in Egypt given the highly repressive political context.
Yet, IMF-prescribed reforms are just one part of a larger field of conflict over socioeconomic reforms that the panel sets out to investigate. The contributions look at different issues at stake such as reforms in the private and public sector, of taxes as well as budget laws in general. They also systematically study the arenas in which these conflicts are carried out and include an analysis of the role of established political actors as well as business associations, think tanks/NGOs and international financial institutions as well as protest actors. Finally, the presentations ask to what extent and how these struggles over socioeconomic reforms impact on social conflict and political development in these countries.
By looking at reforms from a political economy perspective, the papers develop a fine-grained understanding of conflicts over socioeconomic reforms in countries of the Global South in the neoliberal age. Given the post-revolutionary context, the conflicts are embedded in particular complex power relations that shape the (in-)capacity of regimes and the states inherited from Ben Ali and Mubarak to design and implement reforms.