Bruce K. Rutherford (2008)
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.
Wael Ghoim (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 2012
The revolutions that swept the Middle East in 2011 surprised and captivated the world. Brutal regimes that had been in power for decades were overturned by an irrepressible mass of freedom seekers. Now, one of the figures who emerged during the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds.
Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement.
Council on Foreign Relations/Foreign Affairs 2011
The New Arab Revolt: What Happened, What It Means, and What Comes Next sets the intellectual stage for understanding the revolutions in the Middle East. This collection brings together more than sixty articles, interviews, congressional testimony, and op-eds from experts and thought leaders, including Bernard Lewis, Fouad Ajami, Richard Haass, Lisa Anderson, Martin Indyk, Isobel Coleman, Aluf Benn, Dirk Vandewalle, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The volume includes seminal pieces from Foreign Affairs, ForeignAffairs.com, and CFR.org. In addition, major public statements by Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar al-Qaddafi, and others are joined by Egyptian opposition writings and relevant primary source documents. Even if you have been paying close attention to the extraordinary events unfolding in the Middle East, this book pulls together what is needed to understand the origins and significance of the new Arab revolt, including a special introduction by Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose.
Steven A. Cook (OUP) 2011
The recent revolution in Egypt has shaken the Arab world to its roots. The most populous Arab country and the historical center of Arab intellectual life, Egypt is a linchpin of the US’s Middle East strategy, receiving more aid than any nation except Israel. This is not the first time that the world and has turned its gaze to Egypt, however. A half century ago, Egypt under Nasser became the putative leader of the Arab world and a beacon for all developing nations. Yet in the decades prior to the 2011 revolution, it was ruled over by a sclerotic regime plagued by nepotism and corruption. During that time, its economy declined into near shambles, a severely overpopulated Cairo fell into disrepair, and it produced scores of violent Islamic extremists such as Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atta.