Media Reporting on Egypt’s Economy and Bailout Narratives: The Role of Egyptian, Chinese, and Russian Media Narratives in Solving Egypt’s Economic Crisis

February 2020 No Comments

Authors | Editors: Hinck, R. (Monmouth College); Ehrl, M. (Kutztown University); Stefanism, W. (Monmouth College); Kitsch, S. (Monmouth College); Cooley, A. (Oklahoma State University); Cooley, S. (Oklahoma State University)

Executive Summary

This study examined Egyptian, Russian, and Chinese media perspectives of the Egyptian economy to determine to what extent a future economic crisis in Egypt is probable, and identification of which great powers would most likely lead bailout efforts should an economic crisis unfold. To answer these questions, researchers employed a mixed-method approach analyzing over 500 news articles from the past five years from 18 different Egyptian, Chinese, and Russian native language news sites.

Key Findings

Reports on Likely Bailout Partners

  • Convergence in reporting on bailout agents: Egyptian, Chinese, and Russian media similarly report the likely bailout agents being the IMF and World Bank in addition to Middle Eastern partners, such as Saudi Arabia.
  • Divergence in reporting of bailout agents: China views itself as a bailout partner, but Egypt does not see China as such. Egypt views Russia as a bailout partner, but Russia does not view itself as such.

Stability of the Egyptian Economy

  • Egyptian Government’s Capacity: Egyptian media reports greater governmental capacity in managing its economic crisis, although some indicators suggest the increase reflects the need to garner greater buy-in and support from Egyptian populace.
  • Probability of Continued Economic Crisis: Egyptian, Chinese, and Russian media largely indicate that the Egyptian government is capable of successfully managing its economic situation, although references of continued economic crisis factors remain largely consistent over time. Further concerns include the risk of terrorist attacks and political instability which could launch Egypt back into recession.

Russian and Chinese Interests in Egypt

  • Chinese Interests: Chinese interests in Egypt take a long-term, strategic view linking its actions in Egypt to its Belt and Road initiative. Chinese media emphasizes more broadly the benefits of Chinese actions supporting Egyptian economy and people.
  • Russian Interests: Russian interests in Egypt take a short-term, tactical view highlighting Russian actors as the key agents of change. Key industries of interest in Russian media reports include: energy cooperation, weapon sales, tourism, and development of the Suez Canal.

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