Jason Brownlee, associate professor in the Departments of Government and Middle Eastern Studies, has received a $109,484 grant to examine peace-building efforts in Egypt. The funding, provided by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), will enable Brownlee to determine whether the rise in Egypt’s anti-Coptic violence comes from underlying social tensions or from lack of government interventions.
Nationally known for his expertise in authoritarian rule in the Middle East, Brownlee studies democratization and U.S. foreign policy. In his new book “Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance” (Cambridge University Press, Sept. 2012), he explains how America’s alliance with Egypt has impeded democratic change and reinforced authoritarianism over time.
As Egypt moves forward in its effort to consolidate a democratic transition, this initiative will provide timely and informed guidance for nongovernmental organization workers, policymakers and officials in Egypt who are working to reduce societal conflict in a country pivotal to U.S. policy in the region, says Steve Riskin, the special assistant to the president for grants at USIP.
“The study, which accords with USIP’s mandate to resolve violent conflicts and promote post conflict peace-building, will yield important insights for other Middle Eastern countries with religious minorities, including Syria and Lebanon with Christian and other minority groups,” he adds.
Created by Congress to be independent and nonpartisan, USIP works to prevent, mitigate and resolve international conflict through nonviolent means.