Political Science Department Begins a New Journey with a New Chair

Yasmine El Beih
Staff Reporter

Professor Clement Henry - PHOTO FROM WEB

Retiring as professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, Professor Clement Henry has been appointed the new chair of the Political Science department.

The department’s previous chair, Sheila Carapico, has returned to her prior post at the University of Richmond in Virginia, where she is a professor of political science and international studies.

With still kept memories of time spent in Egypt during the sixties, Professor Clement returns to a new campus very different from the old one, and country fighting to create a new vision for the future.

“I’m delighted to be returning, settling in and living here after almost forty year. It’s a very exciting time to be here,” said Clement, who since conducting research and teaching at the American University in Cairo from 1969 to 1973, has only been to Egypt for brief periods of time.

Professor Clements’s area of academic specialization is in comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa, and political economy focusing on financial systems and business elites. It was during his time teaching at AUC in the late sixties and early seventies that Clement did research for his book ‘Images of Development: Egyptian Engineers in Search of Industry’ (MIT Press, 1980).

He has also done research in the Middle Eastern responses to globalization, banking systems in Islamic Mediterranean countries, Islamic banking, and the development of civil societies in the Arab world. Throughout his academic career, Clement has published six books, and co-authored and co-edited six others. He has also written over eighty articles for publication in other books and journals.

He has also been employed at several academic institutions including the American University of Beirut (1981-84) and UCLA, (1984-86). He has received his BA in philosophy and government in 1957 from Harvard College, his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1963, and an M.B.A. in finance from the university of Michigan.

As the region undergoes dramatic change, Clement plans on continuing research here in Cairo during his next three years as chair of the political science department at AUC. He elaborates, “I’m currently working on some articles comparing Egypt and Tunisia.”

Clement has also expressed his happiness to be here due to the transformation of AUC from a small institution in Downtown Cairo to a larger institution “competitive with the American University in Beirut.”

“(President) Lisa Anderson has ambitious plans for the university,” he added. ”We try to improve our overall academic standing and develop our student body.”

Clement is currently teaching a seminar class on Middle East politics, similar to a class he taught at the University of Texas at Austin last fall. In the spring, he will teach a continuation of the seminar class and might teach an undergraduate class on U.S. foreign policy.

He has lived in the Middle East and North Africa region for a total of over 12 years.