Political Stability and Agriculture: A Case Study of Egypt

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Alexa Carlson


Climate change is at the forefront of national discussion regarding the future of global stability; however, the role of environmental changes in political stability, including the extent to which the political systems rely on the natural world for stability is relatively underexplored. In recent studies of nations in the Arab Spring, scholars focused on the causes of the uprisings with very little focus on long-term stability factors (Hussain et al., 2013; Weidmann et al., 2019). To investigate the role of environmental factors in political stability, my research compares the 1920s to 1950s with the 1960s to 2010s in Egypt using a qualitative approach to gain a more in-depth understanding of stability changes over time. This paper is markedly different from previous scholarship because most studies on environmental challenges and political implications in the Middle East focus on international conflict instead of domestic relations, such as the large body of work on 'water wars' (Postel et al., 2001; Gleick and Peter, 1993). Exploring intra-national changes can give insights into another realm of critical research on the effects of climate change. Increasing our awareness of how environmental changes have impacted states in the past can help to prepare for future challenges. The results of the research in this paper indicate that arable land and agricultural production do affect political stability since declining conditions for arable land and agricultural production in both case studies contributed to the revolutions by putting pressure on the social and economic systems.

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Business, Law and Politics