A Grand Delusion: Democracy and Economic Reform in Egypt

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Juli 2001



The recent history and politics of Egypt illuminates the tortuous and often contradictory relationship between liberalization and democracy in Third World countries. Eberhard Kienle argues that the much-vaunted reform and liberalization of Egypt's economy has been partial and selective, far from benefiting everybody. The author looks at how economic reform and liberalization have failed to produce a greater degree of political democracy: notions of elective pluralism, political accountability, clean elections, a genuinely free press, and the containment of police powers, which have turned out to be a great delusion masking restrictions on political participation and civil liberties. This book will shed much light on the dilemma between political and economic reform faced by so many developing countries today.


Part 1 Limited liberties before deliberalization - political liberties at the end of the 1980s: authoritarian arrangements; positive liberties in the narrow sense - the central institutions of the state; positive liberties in the wider sense -representation and participation elsewhere; negative liberties -the state against individuals and groups; the judiciary and restrictions on liberties. Part 2 The deliberalization of the 1990s: positive liberties in the narrow sense - the central institutions of the state - parliamentary elections, presidential elections, new restrictions on political parties, illusory overtures; positive liberties in the wider sense - representation and participation elsewhere - the lower levels of the state apparatus, state-regulated organizations; negative liberties - the state against individuals and groups - the state of emergency, the amendment of the penal code and the extended jurisdiction of the supreme state security courts in 1992, the recourse to military courts from 1992, repression in practice, the harassment of human rights groups, from the 1995 "law to assassinate the press" to the new press law in 1996, de facto restrictions on the press, controlling religious discourse, act 1 - the clampdown on independent mosques from 1996, early measures against Egyptian periodicals registered abroad, 1997, restrictions on the creation of new media, January 1998, further measures against periodicals registered abroad, simultaneous pressures on the press registered in Egypt, keeping professional secrets - the 1998 amendment to the police law, more of the same, censorship outside the media, controlling religious discourse act 2 - reducing the opposition within Al-Azhar, freedom of expression in a wider sense; the scope and limits of deliberalization - the semblants of liberalization, two cases apart, liberties restricted and liberties lost, the judiciary between independence and marginalization, the beneficiaries of restrictions; the conflicts between the regime and its Islamist opponents, the switch from party lists to majority vote, economic crisis, austerity reforms and economic liberalization, economic malaise and Islamist opposition, streamlining the state apparatus, the weakness of liberal convictions, the longevity of the regime, the relative importance of factors; outlook - the 2000 elections and beyond; contemporary Egypt - historiography and theory - the history of Egypt, economy and politics.


Eberhard Kienle is Lecturer in Middle East politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) and Chair of its Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies. He is the author of Ba'th versus Ba'th: A Conflict between Syria and Iraq 1968-1989 (I.B.Tauris).
EAN: 9781860644412
ISBN: 1860644414
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: I B TAURIS
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2001
Seitenanzahl: 283 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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