How to Stay in Power Supporters of Pres. Mubarak during the Egyptian presidential campaign, fall 2005. Photo: Yahoo news Building & Maintaining a Single-Party Regime in Egypt
5 Points to Note 1) Cohesive sense of identity • Political entity since 3200 BC • 77 million people • Arab/Egyptian • 90-94% Sunni Muslim 6-10% Coptic Christian 2) Resources Above, children in Cairo. Left, The Egyptian Museum. A view of Cairo.
3) Administrative Experience • Muhammad Ali, 1805-1848 (governor) • reform program • refashioned the armed forces • reorganized administration • installed centralized bureaucracy • changed patterns of landholding • sustained diplomatic and commercial contact with Europe Muhammad Ali of Egypt. Source: Encarta.com
4) British colonialism & imperialism • French invasion, 1798 • integration into global market, late 1800s • 1869: construction and opening of Suez Canal in • 1882: British invasion and occupation • 1923 Constitutional Monarchy 5) Some history of democratic governance (1923-1952) • 10 parliamentary elections • Wafd Party • Problems: mostly rural, illiterate electorate, external intervention
Creating the one-party state: foundations • 1952 Egyptian Revolution (Gamal Abd al-Nasser) “Can I ask you a question: what is democracy? We were supposed to have a democratic system during the period 1923 to 1953. But what good was this democracy to our people? I will tell you. Landowners and Pashas ruled our people. They used this kind of a democracy as an easy tool for the benefits of a feudal system.” - Nasser, 1957 interview, quoted in Roger Owen (2000, p. 149)
Egypt: Government Structure (since 2005) President (Hosni Mubarak) National Assembly (444 members) Emergency State Security Courts Supreme Constitutional Court National Democratic Party (NDP)
Fight external enemies & promote nationalism • western imperialism & the Arab-Israeli conflict • 1958 Suez Canal Crisis • 1967 Six Day War • 1973 October/Yom Kippur War • 1978/79 Camp David Accords • Palestinian nationalism Pres. Nasser kicks Israel into the sea. A cartoon published in Lebanon in the run-up to the 1967 Six-day war. From Wikipedia.com. Israeli tanks in the Golan heights, 1973.
Promises of Prosperity • Arab socialism under Nasser • nationalization • Infitah - Open Door • Economic Development • Foreign aid • $3 billion annually • $1 billion from U.S. Source: The Economist
Carefully managed dissent • Rigged elections • Carefully managed opposition Supporters of the Kefaya (Enough) movement in recent demonstrations.
Fear & Repression • Emergency Law • Restrictions on freedom of expression, activity • Detainment & imprisonment • Targets: Islamic activists, civil rights activists, homosexuals, • Torture • Inadequate investigations • Social Atomization & Alienation • The Mugammah One method of torture in Egypt, as reported by Amnesty International. I was unable to ascertain the original source of the picture.