Prof. Nadine Sika

Prof. Nadine Sika is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

Duration of Stay
April to July 2022

In cooperation with Dr. Irene Weipert-Fenner

The fellowship is part of Working group 2: Coercion and Sanctions of the Research Initiative „ConTrust: Trust in Conflict – Political Life under Conditions of Uncertainty“.

Nadine Sika is associate professor of Comparative Politics at the American University in Cairo.  She was Humboldt Foundation Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin (2014-2015).  She is the book reviews editor of Mediterranean Politics, and associate editor of Democratization. 

Research project title:
The Consequences of low trust levels on contentious politics in authoritarian regimes:  Evidence from the MENA

Research abstract:
Low political trust levels are correlated with citizens’ tendencies to mobilize and demonstrate against authoritarian regimes. The less trust a person has in their regime, the more likely they are to mobilize and demonstrate against this regime when a political opportunity is prevalent.   On the other hand, the low levels of generalized trust of citizens towards one another impact the extent to which a contentious event lasts and the extent to which social movements themselves fragment.   An authoritarian regime can utilize different strategies of cooptation and repression, which trigger the already existing low trust levels, leading to fragmentation and weakness.  Thus, low generalized trust levels are correlated to low trust levels amongst social movement actors, which impede activists and movements’ abilities to develop and sustain strong networks, leading to movement fragmentation and weakness in the aftermath of large-scale contentious events.

Publications (selection):
Youth Activism and Contentious Politics in Egypt:  Dynamics of Continuity and Change (Cambridge UP, 2017)
Youth in Egypt: Identity, Participation and Opportunity (New York University Press, in print)
Dynamics of Youth Agency in Times of Crisis: Beyond the Impasse in the Mediterranean (Routledge, 2022)
– co-editor with Eberhard Kienle of the Arab Uprisings: Transforming and Challenging State Power (I.B. Tauris 2015)

ConTrust lecture:  „State-led Repression, low trust levels and Mobilization in the MENA“
PRIF Colloquium:  „Regime Breakdown vs Regime Continuity:  Civil Society and Activism in Egypt and Jordan“
Workshop for Special Issue on Trust and Mobilization „The Consequences of Low Trust Levels on Contentious Politics in Authoritarian Regimes:  Evidence from the MENA“ 

Further information will follow