Egypt: State, Society and Energy Caught in a Vicious Circle
Civil society in Egypt is absent from energy-related policy-making in general and oil and gas in particular, due partly to the industry’s isolated location. As this chapter notes, oil and gas is a sector of marked sensitivity because it generates a disproportionate share of rents with which Egypt’s ‘deep state’ buys loyalty and obedience. Unable to engage effectively in public debate in these vital areas, civil society is denied learning opportunities relevant to public policy more generally. Exclusion from the energy arena also has an enervating effect on civil society, compounding its sense of its own irrelevance. State, society and energy in Egypt are caught up in a vicious circle that has profoundly negative impacts on the country’s economy and polity and from which it is not easy to see an exit. Violent protest—sometimes defined as ‘terrorism’—grows out of this vicious circle and the repression of civil society.
KeywordsEgypt Natural resources Oil Gas Petroleum governance Deep state Democracy Authoritarianism Civil society Public debate Decision-making
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