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Introduction

Issue No.26 of the Egypt Institute Journal, published in April 2022, included several political, strategic, economic, intellectual, and legal articles, as follows:

1- The legal Problematics of the Russian-Ukrainian War, Dr. Mohamed Bouboush

This study addresses the legal problematics raised by the Russian war on Ukraine from the perspective of international law, including: the legal conditioning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; how a state may define certain events as threats to its national security that allows it to intervene militarily in the territory of another state, using concepts like the “minority pretext” or the “minority instrument” to justify its actions, as happened in the Crimea (of mostly Russian-speaking population) in 2014, and in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008. The study also addresses the judicial bodies entrusted with hearing cases related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine; the value of the unilateral recognition of separatist entities in international law (South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, Donetsk and Luhansk in 2022); how far the secession of “Donetsk” and “Luhansk” is legal from the perspective of international law; and finally whether Russia can be stripped of Security Council membership.

2- Energetic Strategies in Russian-European Relations, Noura Obaji

In light of the great development, the international environment has been characterized by rapid change and transformation. The international activities have been characterized by continuous change, where the crises and political, economic and social turmoil have generated a state of international instability, which in turn resulted in international intervention that has contributed to achievement of the strategic interests of the major powers. While energy has, since its discovery, constituted international conflict between the major powers, it has resulted in a state of instability in the nature of international relations, as oil and natural gas are strategic variables controlled by states to achieve political, economic or military gains. Therefore, each country has a strategy related to energy affairs, whether it is a producer or a consumer, in line with the accelerating international changes that have become an essential feature in the nature of international interactions.

3- Tracks of Cooperation and Issues of Conflict in US-Chinese Relations, Ouidad El Mossaoui

A widespread debate is often raised among decision-makers about the possibility of creating areas of cooperation between various political units in light of their conflicting interests. As it is the case between the United States and China: Despite the differences and contradictions in their interests, there are many reasons and indicators that can lead to cooperation and dialogue between them. The United States is aware that there is decline in many indicators within resources of its comprehensive power, economically, militarily and politically, in addition to decline of its international status, in light of the emergence of new international poles with ever increasing roles.

4- COVID-19 and Medical Aid Recycling in the Middle East, Wessam Fauad

This paper raises a question about the characteristics of the process of distribution of medical aid within the region or in the outside world. It also examines cases of normalization with the Zionist entity in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It attempts to provide answers to questions like: Have relations within the Middle East region been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic in terms of conflict and cooperation trends? Did the aid, whether distributed within the region or sent to the outside world, have similar or different patterns? What is the impact of Arab-Arab relations on the pattern of aid distribution?

5- The Horn of Africa’s security and social environment, Dr. Mahmoud Salah Gawish

The Horn of Africa region has always been of particular importance within the strategies related to the interests of regional and international powers for achievement of their goals on the African continent, despite their different means and tools for achieving their goals, according to the nature of the variables of the international order. The Horn of Africa is rich in many chronic crises and conflicts that are part of the causes of instability, such as border disputes between the countries of the region such as: the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, the Djibouti-Eritrean conflict, the Somali-Ethiopian conflict, and crises of terrorism and piracy, in addition to the crises of the export of illegal immigration and refugees, and other factors, most notably, the fact that the region enjoys many natural resources such as oil and natural gas, and some of these countries enjoy an important geographical location, which has led to the militarization of the region through the establishment of several foreign military bases in the region for achievement of political, military and economic goals. This gave the region great geostrategic importance, and contributed to scramble of international and regional towards the Horn of Africa.

6- Prospects of democratic transition in Morocco after the 2021 elections, Omar Sabbar

The study addresses the political scene before the latest polls or the furnishing of the scene of 8 September 2021, so to speak, mainly due to the fact that the performance of the previous government was a major determinant of the electoral behavior of the citizen. The study also deals with the behavior of political parties and elites with the main political actor in Morocco. Certainly, this whole pattern does not go without the practice of democratic action in the country, as modern Morocco took its first step in this path at the beginning of the second millennium.

7- The presidential coup against democracy in Tunisia: backgrounds and reasons, Anas al-Mala

Tunisia has been moving at a steady pace towards democratic transformation since the outbreak of the Tunisian revolution in late 2010, until it became, according to most international classifications, a democratic state, compared to the rest of the Arab experiences whose revolutions were aborted through counter-revolutions and popular despair or were not able to move forward in their path towards democracy. Thus, the Tunisian experience was considered the exception and the ideal model for democratic liberation from the grip of tyranny among the peoples of the Arab world.

Despite the fact that democracy was the one that brought the “independent” Kais Saied as elected president of the Tunisian republic; however, he created political and administrative disputes that led to the undermining of state agencies and disruption of government activities, posing threats to public interests.

8- Sources of sovereignty and the principle of balance between powers in the Iranian political system, Tarek Diab

The study addresses sources of sovereignty in the Iranian political system, at the intellectual and constitutional level, and their repercussions on the principle of balance between powers.

The study is divided into two main axes: the first relates to the development of theories of Shiite political thought, with focus on four main theories: the taqiyya (dissimulation) theory, the limited public deputization or representation (of Imam), Velayat-al-Faqih (guardianship of the jurist), and the absolute Velayat-al-Faqih. The second axis is related to reviewing the sources of sovereignty in the Iranian Constitution, first by addressing the three sources of sovereignty: Allah, Nation, and Vali al-Faqih; second, the official political institutions sanctioned by the Constitution, and the extent of dominance of the leader (Vali al-Faqih) over those institutions, and how far the principle of balance between powers is achieved.

9- Introduction to field of intelligence studies, Ahmed Mawlana

Intelligence studies is a sub-field of the international relations, where it has emerged in the West with the increasing interest in the role of intelligence in facing rival countries, groups designated as “terrorist” and organized crime gangs, as well as the energy security issue.

With the mistakes made by intelligence services, related to violation of the laws regulating their work, more attention has been paid to shedding light on the process of management and governance of the intelligence services. Intelligence studies have crystallized academically to include the study of information collection and analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, as well as the oversight of intelligence services.

10- International Law and Private Military-Security Companies, Dr. Samar Khamlichi

This study sheds light on private companies working in the field of security protection and military interventions. The importance of this study lies in highlighting the role of these companies in international wars and conflicts as a major reliable actor. The study discusses how far the activities of these companies are legal from the perspective of international law, especially international humanitarian law.

11- The Militarization of Local Administration: Between Authoritarian Necessities and Building Strong Localities, Omar Samir

The study attempts to find out the reality of military penetration of Egypt’s local administration; how far this pattern of administration is effective, to society or to regime, as well as its viability and likely survival. The paper also attempts to explore whether this military domination of local government is due to existence of a (fundamental) authoritarian need, or to an (objective) need for a strong local authority after a revolution that led to loosening grip of the central government?

In this issue:

Despite agreement that the state should be subject to the law and should achieve the principle of legality, there is a wide difference between constitutional jurisprudence regarding the interpretation of the legal basis on which the principle of legality is based. The focus of this dispute has been: Why is the state subject to the law? Which comes first, the state or the law? In attempt by jurists to answer these questions, many theories have emerged tried to explain the basis of the state’s subordination to the law, and which one comes first in existence: the law or the state.

El-Affendi says that the British Publisher “Grey Seal Books” asked him to author a short book on a topic related to any contemporary Islamic idea, so he chose to write on the topic of the “Islamic State”. The book was initially published under the title: “Who Needs an Islamic State?” Its first edition came in 1991, in England. The author says that the book targeted the “thinking Muslim readers”. El-Affendi decided to author this book when he discovered that the arrival of an Islamist movement to power in Sudan was a real disaster because of its submission to authoritarian tendencies and the failure to make democracy a priority. The disaster becomes more tragic – according to El-Affandi – when we discover that the Islamic movement in Sudan was more open to democratic principles and ideas than most Islamic movements in other countries, although those movements were mainly victims of tyranny. The book was translated from English into Arabic, Turkish and Malay. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the book, when he was governor of Istanbul, that it was the most important book written for Islamic movements.

The study springs from the fact that the field of knowledge production is the higher education field that is most affected by globalization. It seems that the flow of information and data is an urgent hereditary feature of knowledge economy that absorbs globalization to become a system for distribution of knowledge, through increasing alliances and partnerships during the search for acquiring specialized and modern knowledge resulting from a wide range of basic and applied research, cutting-edge partnerships and confluence of basic and applied research. The distribution of knowledge production can create a world of collaborative arrangements; it is the need to possess specialized knowledge in all fields which underlies the current growth of networks and proliferation in research and development of companies and alliances.

Many Chinese foreign policy stances reveal that there is an almost unanimity among Chinese leaders in portraying the United States as a major source that is capable of obstructing Chinese interests abroad, were the source of concern for the Chinese is related to the American unilateral policies, which makes it difficult for China to protect its foreign interests in the short term. Meanwhile, Chinese officials and academics believe that the United States is preparing for a long conflict with China – to achieve the goal of containing it, as it did with the Soviet Union.

The study springs out from the hypothesis that policies of the international powers towards Sudan and Ethiopia come within the short and long term calculations, governed by the position of each country, with respect to its weight and influence, as well as its position in the international doctrine, the divisions of rapprochement and divergence with international powers, and its position in serving the existing international order.

Russia is the largest external supplier of oil and natural gas to the European Union, so, the European Union seeks to maintain and strengthen its role as a safe and reliable supplier of energy. For this reason, both parties have sought to establish a strategic partnership between them to ensure security of energy supplies. As far as the growing demand on Russian energy from the European Union is concerned, Russia seeks to turn this demand into a factor of strategic power, at a time when it is also in dire need to export its energy to the European Union, being the main consumer. In fact, Russia has transformed energy into political and economic gains, which has raised the United States’ concerns over its strategic partner and the global role that Russia plays using the energy card.

The Horn of Africa region has always been of particular significance in the strategies of interests of regional and international powers, to achieve their targets in the continent, even if means and tools to achieve these targets were different, according to the nature of variables of the international order. The countries of the Horn of Africa region are engaged in many conflicts, such as the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, the Djibouti-Eritrean conflict, the Somali-Ethiopian conflict, the crises of terrorism and piracy, and others. However, the region enjoys many natural resources such as oil and natural gas, in addition to the significant geographical location of some countries which led to militarization of the region through concentration of a number of foreign military bases that were established in the region for political, military and economic goals, giving the region great geostrategic importance.

The study addresses the military balances amid the Russian-Ukrainian war, exploring the strategies of armies of Western countries and the Russian Federation, the repercussions of the military conflict on the rules and infrastructure of the international order, and highlighting the risks the world is exposed to, in light of continuation of the war, which came in time of economic exhaustion after the Coronavirus Pandemic. The study also attempts to handle the conflicting narratives and military strategies between international and regional actors, which makes prolongation of the military conflict and unwillingness to cease fire, reasons for further complicating the negotiating structure of the conflicting parties.

The study seeks to provide an answer to the main question as well as sub-questions that revolve around the nature of conditions that can determine the policies that China may pursue towards the two sides of the conflict, and how much China has been effective towards the war. The author followed the analytical method to study and analyze the circumstances surrounding the Chinese politics. The study concluded that China considers Russia a strategic ally, but such alliance is more linked to economic interests and hostility to America and the West than being linked to ideology.

The study attempts to find out the reality of military penetration of Egypt’s local administration; how far this pattern of administration is effective, to society or to regime, as well as its viability and likely survival. The paper also attempts to explore whether this military domination of local government is due to existence of a (fundamental) authoritarian need, or to an (objective) need for a strong local authority after a revolution that led to loosening grip of the central government?

This study sheds light on private companies working in the field of security protection and military interventions. The importance of this study lies in highlighting the role of these companies in international wars and conflicts as a major reliable actor. The study discusses how far the activities of these companies are legal from the perspective of international law, especially international humanitarian law.

Intelligence studies is a sub-field of the international relations, where it has emerged in the West with the increasing interest in the role of intelligence in facing rival countries, groups designated as “terrorist” and organized crime gangs, as well as the energy security issue. With the mistakes made by intelligence services, related to violation of the laws regulating their work, more attention has been paid to shedding light on the process of management and governance of the intelligence services. Intelligence studies have crystallized academically to include the study of information collection and analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, as well as the oversight of intelligence services.

The study addresses sources of sovereignty in the Iranian political system, at the intellectual and constitutional level, and their repercussions on the principle of balance between powers. The study is divided into two main axes: the first relates to the development of theories of Shiite political thought, with focus on four main theories: the taqiyya (dissimulation) theory, the limited public deputization or representation (of Imam), Velayat-al-Faqih (guardianship of the jurist), and the absolute Velayat-al-Faqih. The second axis is related to reviewing the sources of sovereignty in the Iranian Constitution, first by addressing the three sources of sovereignty: Allah, Nation, and Vali al-Faqih; second, the official political institutions sanctioned by the Constitution, and the extent of dominance of the leader (Vali al-Faqih) over those institutions, and how far the principle of balance between powers is achieved.

Tunisia has been moving at a steady pace towards democratic transformation since the outbreak of the Tunisian revolution in late 2010, until it became, according to most international classifications, a democratic state, compared to the rest of the Arab experiences whose revolutions were aborted through counter-revolutions and popular despair or were not able to move forward in their path towards democracy. Thus, the Tunisian experience was considered the exception and the ideal model for democratic liberation from the grip of tyranny among the peoples of the Arab world. Despite the fact that democracy was the one that brought the "independent" Kais Saied as elected president of the Tunisian republic; however, he created political and administrative disputes that led to the undermining of state agencies and disruption of government activities, posing threats to public interests.

The study addresses the political scene before the latest polls or the furnishing of the scene of 8 September 2021, so to speak, mainly due to the fact that the performance of the previous government was a major determinant of the electoral behavior of the citizen. The study also deals with the behavior of political parties and elites with the main political actor in Morocco. Certainly, this whole pattern does not go without the practice of democratic action in the country, as modern Morocco took its first step in this path at the beginning of the second millennium.