A Grand Delusion: Democracy and Economic Reform in Egypt by Eberhard Kienle

By Eberhard Kienle

The hot historical past and politics of Egypt illuminates the tortuous and sometimes contradictory courting among liberalization and democracy in 3rd global international locations. Eberhard Kienle argues that the much-vaunted reform and liberalization of Egypt’s economic climate has been partial and selective, faraway from reaping rewards every body. the writer seems at how financial reform and liberalization have did not produce a better measure of political democracy: notions of non-obligatory pluralism, political responsibility, fresh elections, a certainly unfastened press, and the containment of police powers, that have grew to become out to be a superb myth overlaying regulations on political participation and civil liberties. This booklet will shed a lot gentle at the predicament among political and monetary reform confronted via such a lot of constructing nations this day.

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Additional info for A Grand Delusion: Democracy and Economic Reform in Egypt (Library of Modern Middle East Studies) by Eberhard Kienle (2001-04-12)

Sample text

41 Second, elections to the People’s Assembly were always marked by substantial fraud and interference. Although the regime and its entourage were never alone in resorting to such methods, they were best placed to manipulate electoral registers, control access to polling stations or tamper with ballot boxes – activities I shall return to in the context of the 1990 and 1995 elections. Suffice the story of an opposition candidate in the 1987 elections who, after polling in his village had closed, jumped into his car to follow the pick-up lorry taking the ballot box to the general committee where the votes were to be counted.

Ultimately, liberties were limited to an extent that made Egyptians nationals of their country, rather than citizens in the full sense of the term. As the president’s wide-ranging powers suggested, the constitutional provisions and the limits they imposed on liberties were more than a constitutional issue. As in most cases it was not so much the constitution that shaped relations of power, but relations of power that shaped the constitution and its later amendments. In the Egyptian case, those relations of power were less than balanced.

However, numerous professions had no professional syndicate, while existing syndicates enjoyed monopoly status in the professions concerned. With regard to private voluntary associations, Law No. 32 of 1964,58 promulgated in the most centralizing and authoritarian days of Nasirism, enabled the government to prevent the creation of such structures and to disband existing ones. In both cases, the discretionary powers of the government reduced the law to a travesty. 59 Once established, an association was subject to tight controls over its activities and its financial and budgetary decisions, including the receipt of funds from abroad.

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