Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics)

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9780691136653: Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics)


Egypt's autocratic regime is being weakened by economic crises, growing political opposition, and the pressures of globalization. Observers now wonder which way Egypt will go when the country's aging president, Husni Mubarak, passes from the scene: will it embrace Western-style liberalism and democracy? Or will it become an Islamic theocracy similar to Iran? Egypt after Mubarak demonstrates that both secular and Islamist opponents of the regime are navigating a middle path that may result in a uniquely Islamic form of liberalism and, perhaps, democracy.


Bruce Rutherford examines the political and ideological battles that drive Egyptian politics and shape the prospects for democracy throughout the region. He argues that secularists and Islamists are converging around a reform agenda that supports key elements of liberalism, including constraints on state power, the rule of law, and protection of some civil and political rights. But will this deepening liberalism lead to democracy? And what can the United States do to see that it does? In answering these questions, Rutherford shows that Egypt's reformers are reluctant to expand the public's role in politics. This suggests that, while liberalism is likely to progress steadily in the future, democracy's advance will be slow and uneven.


Essential reading on a subject of global importance, Egypt after Mubarak draws upon in-depth interviews with Egyptian judges, lawyers, Islamic activists, politicians, and businesspeople. It also utilizes major court rulings, political documents of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the writings of Egypt's leading contemporary Islamic thinkers.


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"An important work, filled with valuable information and insight. Beyond the rich detail about Egypt, Rutherford's study deepens our understanding of how the characteristics of both an authoritarian and a democratic political order come together and persist in the hybrid regimes of the Arab world."--Mark Tessler, University of Michigan


"Bruce Rutherford helps us make sense of the voices emerging in Egyptian politics and understand how they resonate. Neither denying Egyptian authoritarianism nor accepting its inevitability, Rutherford draws deeply on theoretical debates among scholars to elucidate politics in this vital--and surprisingly complicated--country."--Nathan J. Brown, author of The Rule of Law in the Arab World


"Egypt after Mubarak offers a unique look at Egypt's most promising and most hopeful future. Rutherford argues that the major oppositional forces are converging on a platform of reform that will produce in Egypt a hybrid regime with liberal but circumscribed democratic characteristics. This book will have a serious and productive impact on the field."--Raymond W. Baker, Trinity College


"This book provides a superb analysis of the domestic constituencies and agendas for political reform in Egypt, highlighting their distinctive features and their common ground. Rutherford accomplishes this with a high degree of analytic sophistication, and backs it with rich supporting evidence. This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of contemporary Egyptian politics and society by deftly identifying--and capturing the nuances of--the alternate political visions in Egypt."--Carrie Rosefsky Wickham, Emory University


About the Author:

Bruce K. Rutherford is assistant professor of political science at Colgate University.

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