Philbrick Yadav, Egypt Talk Featured – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Philbrick Yadav, Egypt Talk Featured

Assistant professor of political science Stacey Philbrick Yadav was interviewed regarding Egypt’s unrest and a panel discussion taking place on Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Colleges on the topic.

The article in the Finger Lakes Times notes, “Although the U.S. State Department has sent former ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner to Cairo to meet Egyptian officials and urge them to embrace broad economic and political changes, Philbrick Yadav said the U.S. ‘has been very slow to embrace the protest movement – far too slow.'”

It also notes she emphasized the protests are not “anti-American,” but rather “pro-Egyptian.”

More information about the panel discussion, which will also feature Vikash Yadav, associate professor of political science at HWS and Roosevelt University Assistant Professor of Political Science David Faris is available online.

Philbrick Yadav received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from Smith College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of several recent journal articles on political opposition in Yemen and Lebanon, and is completing a book on the subject of Islamist parliamentary opposition in the two countries. In 2008, Philibrick Yadav was a visiting researcher at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Before coming to HWS, she taught at Mount Holyoke College and the University of Pennsylvania, and lived and worked in Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen from 2003-2006, returning on a number of times since then to continue her research.

Vikash Yadav’s work is in the field of international relations with specializations in international political economy, comparative political economy and political theory. Regionally, his work focuses on the economies of South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from DePauw University, a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

The article follows.


Finger Lakes Times
Panel to explore Egypt’s unrest
Heather Swanson • February 1, 2011

GENEVA — To help students and community members better understand the growing protests in Egypt, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host a panel discussion Thursday.

The panel also will look at protests in Tunisia and Yemen.

The panel, hosted by HWS Americans for an Informed Democracy, will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. The discussion, open to the public, will consider the question, “Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen: What Do (and Don’t) the Protests Mean?”

Although Egypt has been an ally to the United States and its current regime has maintained three decades of peace with Israel, detractors criticize the regime’s human rights record and blame President Hosni Mubarak’s government for rampant corruption and a widening gap between rich and poor. More than a quarter million protesters gathered this week in Cairo’s main square, demanding Mubarak step down.

In a television address yesterday, he rejected demands to leave immediately but said he would not run for a new term in the September elections. Protesters were not immediately satisfied by that gesture.

Assistant professor of political science Stacey Philbrick Yadav, who will speak at the panel discussion, said that while the success of similar protests in Tunisia built momentum, “it didn’t create the grievances” that have brought Egyptian opposition groups and citizens to the streets in protest.

Yadav specializes in the dynamics of political opposition and lived in Egypt for several years.

Although the U.S. State Department has sent former ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner to Cairo to meet Egyptian officials and urge them to embrace broad economic and political changes, Yadav said the U.S. “has been very slow to embrace the protest movement” far too slow.”

The substantial financial and military support that the United States provides to Egypt “has been used to fuel the repression from the regime,” she said.
She emphasized, though, that the protests are not “anti-American,” but rather “pro-Egyptian.”

The U.S. has “multiple reasons” for supporting Mubarak, she said, not least of which is the government’s desire “to have a peaceful ally on Israel’s border.”

Egyptians, though, have “paid the price” for that, she said. In addition to human rights limitations, they have faced political rights limitations that often take shape not only in corruption but in “arbitrary violence, imprisonment, arrest, detention without charge” all the mechanisms of authoritarian repression,” she said.

What will happen in the coming days and weeks is difficult to predict, Yadav said.
“I’m not really certain anymore that decisions taken in Washington are going to make as big a difference at this stage,” she said, noting the current situation “cannot be easily reversed.”

Should Mubarak agree to protesters’ demands and step down, Yadav said that while Israel “will have to negotiate and to make more compromises in their policy toward the Palestinians than they have had to in the past,” changes are not tantamount to a security threat.

“I do not believe that this popular movement raises the specter of any kind of substantial security threat [to Israel],” Yadav said. “Nor do I think that that should be the foundation of U.S. decision making.”

Washington, she said, would be better served by aligning with the protesters than by supporting “an authoritarian regime.”

Also on the HWS panel will be Associate Professor of Political Science Vikash Yadav and Roosevelt University Assistant Professor of Political Science David Faris, both of whom have lived and worked in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

Egyptian refreshments will be served.