Energy Crisis Keeps Egypt on the Wrong Side of Capitalism


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The paper explores the role of subsidies towards inflating the contemporary energy crisis facing the Egyptian society. It evaluates potential sociopolitical implications of the recently imposed energy subsidy reformations from the perspective of sustainable development after almost five years since the breakout of the 2011 revolutionary uprisings. It suggests that while neither the economic rationality nor social equality considerations are maintained, reforming the inefficient traditional energy subsidy policies is deemed inevitable. Yet, in the absence of adequate social protection mechanisms as a means of pursuing social justice given the recent social and political transformations, subsidy alleviation do risk triggering wide scale sociopolitical unrest. The paper concludes that unless these alterations are to incorporate parallel transformations towards democratic governance, prospects for sustainable recovery and development remain minimal. It further asserts Egypt’s energy crisis as one aspect of wider economic structural deficiencies to have deep roots within the neoliberal capitalist global policy setting. Nevertheless, policy recommendations contend a paradigm shift away from aggressive neoliberal capitalism towards incorporating democracy and sustainable development as policy framework. Utilization of Egypt’s natural resources dictates immediate transformation towards renewable energy sources while raising public awareness thus improving resource management and environmental accountability, and restoring the country’s progressively dwindling natural and social capitals.