Transnational NGOs between Popular Uprising and Authoritarian Regime: Developments in Egypt

Research output: Working paperResearchpeer-review


Scholars differentiate the concepts of internationalism and transnationalism. While the first refers to the connectivity between macro institutions such as states, multinational corporations and other institutionalized actors within and beyond national boundaries, the second term emphasizes public movements,
organizations and communities engaged in de-territorialized socio‐cultural, political and economic activities. This paper focuses on the role of transnational NGOs (TNGOs) in recent developments in Egypt. The current scholarly debate on the so‐called “Arab spring” considers the mobilization of disempowered youth, intense media-tech application and sustained international pressure as crucial to ousting authoritarian regimes in North Africa. Delineating the role of TNGOs complements
such findings. TNGO activities and responses to the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and
to the ensuing coup in 2013 reveal the capability of such organizations to balance
civic transformational oriented mobilizations with state centred institutional
considerations. Furthermore though TNGOs cannot directly change the current
political stalemate in Egypt, the power elite might misinterpret the changing and
sometimes contradictory positions of these organizations and might eventually
encourage the return to authoritarianism. After introductory remarks on the
background of the uprising, the paper proceeds to theoretical discussion of
transnational engagement followed by recent historical and current empirical
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSchool of Social Sciences > Department of International Politics > Working Papers on Transnational Politics
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2013
SeriesWorking Papers on Transnational Politics


  • Transnational NGOs
  • Development
  • Authoritarian regimes
  • Mobilization
  • Civil society

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