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Research project

Pension reform as path to peace? Egypt after the Arab spring

Project overview

During the revolution of 25th January 2011, Egyptians demanded, “bread, freedom and social justice” (Loewe and Jawad, 2018: 9), reshaping their government’s political and social policy objectives. Responding to pressure, the government took steps towards alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life for all. Among them was a social insurance pension law, introduced in 2019. This landmark reform is meant to unify the previously fragmented social pension scheme landscape; its purpose is to improve long-term living standards for all Egyptians. This reform is at the centre of this project.
The main aim of this research is to assess the degree to which this pension reform can fulfil its ambitious aims: Will it alleviate poverty? Does it indeed secure a better quality of life for all Egyptians? Its main objectives are to contribute to our understanding of whether public policy responses have effectively addressed the grievances expressed since 2011, and thus help to prevent future conflict and to inform policymakers and academics. To achieve its objectives, this research will conduct a systematic comparison of the equity and quality of benefits under the previous and the reformed system. It will employ actuarial methods and hypothetical biographies bearing the typical risks of different system members. On this basis it will measure how much more inclusive the system is after the reform.
The academic outcomes of the research will contribute to the literature on social protection in Egypt as a low- middle-income country and it will show how pension reform can reduce poverty and increase social justice - important for societal stability in such countries. The findings will also interest Egyptian and international policymakers and the Egyptian public.
The project follows an interdisciplinary research agenda, using actuarial methods for social policy analysis to advance scholarship on how social protection can help to reduce the underlying causes of potential societal grievance and conflict. Moreover, it relies on the collaboration of experts in actuarial science and comparative social policy from the Universities of Cairo and Southampton and therefore furthers good North-South relationships. Thus, it is in line with MENASP-CP aims.


Lead researcher

Professor Traute Meyer

Professor of Social Policy
Connect with Traute

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs