Congratulations to Hyun Jeong Ha on her new article in the Journal of Peace Research and the Excellent Academic Book Award

Congratulations to Hyun Jeong Ha on her new article!

Klocek, J., Ha, H., & Sumaktoyo, N. G. (2023). Regime change and religious discrimination after the Arab uprisings. Journal of Peace Research 60.3: 489–503. 


This article investigates how and when regime transitions intensify minority discrimination through an analysis of two types of religious persecution following the Arab uprisings. We argue that weakened institutions and the prevalence of religious outbidding during political transitions make societal-based religious discrimination (SRD) more likely to increase than government-based religious discrimination (GRD). This is because social divisions are often exacerbated and social unrest difficult to contain, while at the same time, policy change can be difficult to enact and enforce. We test these claims through a mixed-methods research design. Employing a synthetic control method, the cross-national, quantitative analysis from 1990 to 2014 confirms that GRD has not changed since the Arab uprisings, while SRD has substantially increased in those countries (i.e. Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia) that also experienced regime change. A case study of Egypt provides more direct evidence of the institutional and outbidding mechanisms. The qualitative analysis draws on ethnographic research conducted in Cairo during 2014, which includes in-depth interviews with Coptic Orthodox Christians. Our findings underscore the twin challenge of protecting and accommodating minority religions during periods of political transition.

Professor Ha’s 2022 essay, “Egypt: Haunted Ghost of the Old Problems” was published in 아랍의 봄, 그 후 10년의 흐름 (The Arab Spring and Ten Years Thereafter) , which was recently awarded the 2023 Excellent Academic Book Award by the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Korea. This book examines the political and social changes in the 10 years following the Arab Spring, and it is the first book on this topic to be published in South Korea. Joined by ten other Korean Middle East experts, Professor Ha contributed a chapter on Egypt to investigate major political and social changes before and after the 2011 Arab Spring from a sociological perspective. In her chapter, “Egypt: Haunted Ghost of the Old Problems”, she discusses the multifaceted factors that led to the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak regime (1981-2011), including the government’s implementation of neoliberal economic policies since the 1980s, which had a detrimental impact on the lives of Egyptians, the long-standing ineptitude and corruption of the government and the military, and the failure of the government to adequately address sectarian divides within society. After analyzing regime transition processes after the Arab Spring, the chapter finishes with a discussion on several ongoing challenges, such as the continuous government repression of civil society.