Unlike other Egypt’s provinces, terrorism in the Egypt’s North Sinai seems as sustained terror with a wide base of extremist militant groups. The main objective of this study is to answer the question of “why has terrorism escalated dramatically in Egypt’s North Sinai province post 2011 and 2013?” After analyzing the literature on different causal explanation of terrorism, it is found a shortage in terms of analyzing the nexus of ungovernability and terrorism. Therefore, this study uses different concepts of ungovernability dimensions, relative deprivation theory, and state repression concept to analyze them in relation to terrorism escalation in the case study of Egypt’s North Sinai. The methodology of this study depends on qualitative tools of analysis as well as statistical methods to analyze the terrorism phenomena in North Sinai. Essentially, this study used empirical research methods through conducting twenty in-depth interviews with various samples. Through analyzing this case study, it is found that the ungovernability increases the opportunity of terror, especially in the case of selective state penetration. For the sake of enriching the literature, this study provides an analytical explanatory framework of the nexus between ungovernability dimensions and terrorism. Finally, this study proposes four policy recommendations to reinforce the level of governability in North Sinai province.


Public Policy & Administration Department

First Advisor

Hodgkins, Allison

Committee Member 1

Al-Mashat, Abdul-Monem

Committee Member 2

Shahin, Magda


125 p.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


I would like to take this occasion to express my sincere appreciation to the multitude of individuals to be the reasons where I am today. I feel gratefulness to AUC, particularly the Public Policy and Administration Department (PPAD) that allowed me to attain my Master’s degree and conduct a semester abroad at Sciences Po. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my supervisor; Professor Allison Hodgkins who has been always pushing me hard to think critically and differently in order come out with unique ideas. I also feel grateful to Ambassador Professor Magda Shahin who provoked my research interests in political economy, and I am honored by her acceptance to be part of my defense panel. I feel thankful to Professor Ibrahim Awad, Professor Hamid Ali, and Professor Ghada Barsoum who truly taught me how to be critical and analytical researcher and get over the different challenges. Furthermore, from day one, Ms. Enas Abdel-Azim was extremely supportive and helpful to me at AUC. I must acknowledge that working with Dr. Khaled Abdelhalim as a teaching assistant for three years has promoted my academic and professional skills. I also feel appreciation to Ms. Mariez Wasfi and Ms. Sally Barsoum whom their doors were always open, whenever I need help. I recognize that my graduate studies journey would not have been possible without the fellowship opportunities that provided by the AUC Graduate Studies office and PPAD department. I feel thankful to my home Institution ‘FUE’ who supported me by all possible means, and especially my beloved Professor Abul-Monem Al-Mashat who taught me uncountable things in my academic, professional, and personal life; I also feel appreciation to his detailed feedback on my thesis. Also, words cannot describe how much appreciation I have to my colleague and brother Abdelrahman Rashdan who provoked my interests in security studies and was always a source of support whenever I need help or advice. I also feel thankful to my professors Dr. Salwa Thabet, Dr. Yasime Zein Abdien, Dr. Mona Al-Roubi and Professor Amany Masoud for all their support and help during my studies. I also feel thankful to my collogues, Sarra Monier, Marina Emad, Nouran Khalil, Aya Safwat, Nourhan Sultan, Iman Serag, Salma Yehia, Radwa Al-Tagoury, Nourhan Sultan for all their fruitful advises, and particularly Shaimaa Omran who was of super help in using the statistical methods in this thesis. I would also like to thank the interviewees who were participated in this study; without their valuable input, the findings of this thesis could not have been successfully reached. Special thanks to Dr. Saleh Al-Sheikh, Dr. Noha Bakr, Dr. Mona Badran, and Ms. Olfa Al-Salami, who encouraged and connected me hard with different sources. I would also like to thank my mother, father, and sister who are all my reasons I am; I must acknowledge without Sarah Kamaly my life partner, whose love, encouragement and editing assistance, I would not have finished this thesis.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Publication Date

Spring 5-23-2016