‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt

by

From Journal of Peace Research


This article
examines the violent political conflict in Egypt that paved the way for the recent anti-government protests forcing the resignation of the country’s president. It investigates the cycle of violence between the politically motivated attacks by Islamists and the counter-insurgency measures used by the Egyptian government. It considers the socio-economic consequences of political violence and recognises a direct link between poverty and the intensity of radical Islamist activity. Outlining the policy implications, finally it warns how the existence of significant spillovers in the Middle East from upsurges can spark instability in neighbouring territories as is evident with the domino effect on Bahrain and Libya.  

Abstract
                                         

The authors analyse newly collected time-series data measuring the dimensions of violent political conflict in Egypt. Attention is focused on the interaction between politically motivated attacks by Islamists and the counter-insurgency measures used by the Egyptian government. Both insurgency and counter-insurgency are multidimensional. Insurgency includes attacks on tourists, on Egyptian civilians and on security forces. Counter-insurgency includes arrests and attacks on militants. To some extent, the dynamics of insurgency and counter-insurgency can be described by two distinct cycles of violence: one related to highly politicized activities on both sides, and another related to less explicitly political activities. However, the two cycles are inter-related, leading to complex and asymmetric dynamics in the relationships between the different dimensions of the conflict. The authors find that the combination of political repression and military counter-insurgency measures employed by the Egyptian government has the potential to exacerbate rather than reduce political violence. On the other hand, the overall level of conflict intensity in Egypt can be mitigated by food subsidies. Finally, the existence of significant spillovers from upsurges in the Israeli—Palestinian conflict shows the regional importance of reaching a Middle East peace agreement.

Read this research for freeFielding, D., & Shortland, A. (2010). ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: Political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt Journal of Peace Research, 47 (4), 433-447 DOI: 10.1177/0022343309360897

Article details

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt”

  1. Tweets that mention ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt « SAGE Insight -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Frank Aldorf, Flipboard Science. Flipboard Science said: ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt http://bit.ly/heUDOi […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: