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Debate | LUCIS Panel Discussion

The Political Ecology of Crisis and Revolt: Rural Development, Agrarian Change and the Environment in Egypt

Friday 12 April 2019
Free to visit; please register
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

This panel examines the intersection between the environment and rural development in Egypt. Often environmental issues in Egypt have been neglected as a result of the conflict and instability that has afflicted the region in recent years. Within academic and policy studies the ecology is sometimes treated as separate to the region’s politics and economics. Rather than posit the environment as a separate sphere to the region’s social characteristics, the ecology should be seen at the core of such issues.

The lineages of the revolutions that have taken place across the region can be partly traced to the dual crises that have taken place within the rural economy and environment. Food insecurity, drought, land degradation, the dispossession of small farmers and poverty have all manifested themselves in the social movements and revolt that are sometimes portrayed as exclusively urban in origins.

The aim of this panel is to draw together themes of rural development and environment in order to illustrate the centrality of these issues to the region’s current predicament. It seeks to bring together researchers from academia and NGOs in order to convey their individual perspectives and draw links between them in order to ask the question of: What is the political ecology of rural crisis and revolt in Egypt?

About the speakers

  • Dr. Christian Henderson is assistant professor in Middle East studies at Leiden Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University. His research focusses on agrarian change, political economy and political ecology of the Gulf states and wider Middle East.
  • Noor A. Noor is an Egyptian environmentalist, educator and musician, with a particular interest in biodiversity conservation through policy, communications and innovation. Between 2012 - 2018, Noor was the Executive Coordinator at Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE), an NGO working to conserve Egypt's nature and to promote its sustainable use. 
  • Saker El Nour is an associate researcher at UMR Développement & Sociétés (IRD - University Paris 1). In 2013 he awarded a doctorate in sociology from Paris Nanterre University with his dissertation entitled “Contemporary poverty dynamics in rural Egypt. Case study of Nazlet Salmân”. 
  • Yasmine Moataz Ahmed is a postdoctoral teaching fellow at the Core Curriculum Office of The American University in Cairo. She earned her PhD in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, where she wrote her dissertation on perceptions of the state and citizenship practices in rural Egypt.

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