Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Time
A fascinating and timely book. . . . [Rutherford] details the long and persistent struggle of the judiciary to carve out an independent role for itself, even under a military dictatorship.
— Fareed Zakaria
Political Studies Review
The author defends his position through a meticulous and detailed analysis of related first- and second-hand sources. The high level of detail makes the book especially attractive to readers who are familiar with modern Egyptian history and politics, and readers will find invaluable information and debates regarding the dynamic history of Egypt's legal, political and economic institutions.
— Burak Ozcetin
Time - Fareed Zakaria
A fascinating and timely book. . . . [Rutherford] details the long and persistent struggle of the judiciary to carve out an independent role for itself, even under a military dictatorship.
Foreign Affairs - Steven A. Cook
[Readers will] be rewarded by Rutherford's ambitious effort to explain how significant political actors, specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood, the judiciary, and the business sector, can work in parallel, if not exactly together, to influence the country's trajectory over time. This is a novel approach to analyzing Egyptian politics.
Canadian Jewish News - Sheldon Kirschner
Bruce Rutherford thoroughly analyzes the dynamics and personalities of Egyptian politics and the prospects for Egypt once its pro-Western president, Hosni Mubarak, passes on.
Perspectives on Politics - Waleed Hazbun
[Egypt after Mubarak] clearly offers both an insightful account of Egyptian politics and a potentially fruitful framework for future comparative research on political change in the Arab world.
Political Studies Review - Burak Ozcetin
The author defends his position through a meticulous and detailed analysis of related first- and second-hand sources. The high level of detail makes the book especially attractive to readers who are familiar with modern Egyptian history and politics, and readers will find invaluable information and debates regarding the dynamic history of Egypt's legal, political and economic institutions.
From the Publisher
"A fascinating and timely book. . . . [Rutherford] details the long and persistent struggle of the judiciary to carve out an independent role for itself, even under a military dictatorship."—Fareed Zakaria, Time

"[Readers will] be rewarded by Rutherford's ambitious effort to explain how significant political actors, specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood, the judiciary, and the business sector, can work in parallel, if not exactly together, to influence the country's trajectory over time. This is a novel approach to analyzing Egyptian politics."—Steven A. Cook, Foreign Affairs

"Bruce Rutherford thoroughly analyzes the dynamics and personalities of Egyptian politics and the prospects for Egypt once its pro-Western president, Hosni Mubarak, passes on."—Sheldon Kirschner, Canadian Jewish News

"[Egypt after Mubarak] clearly offers both an insightful account of Egyptian politics and a potentially fruitful framework for future comparative research on political change in the Arab world."—Waleed Hazbun, Perspectives on Politics

"The author defends his position through a meticulous and detailed analysis of related first- and second-hand sources. The high level of detail makes the book especially attractive to readers who are familiar with modern Egyptian history and politics, and readers will find invaluable information and debates regarding the dynamic history of Egypt's legal, political and economic institutions."—Burak Ozcetin, Political Studies Review

Foreign Affairs
[Readers will] be rewarded by Rutherford's ambitious effort to explain how significant political actors, specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood, the judiciary, and the business sector, can work in parallel, if not exactly together, to influence the country's trajectory over time. This is a novel approach to analyzing Egyptian politics.
— Steven A. Cook
Canadian Jewish News
Bruce Rutherford thoroughly analyzes the dynamics and personalities of Egyptian politics and the prospects for Egypt once its pro-Western president, Hosni Mubarak, passes on.
— Sheldon Kirschner
Perspectives on Politics
[Egypt after Mubarak] clearly offers both an insightful account of Egyptian politics and a potentially fruitful framework for future comparative research on political change in the Arab world.
— Waleed Hazbun
Perspectives on Politics
[Egypt after Mubarak] clearly offers both an insightful account of Egyptian politics and a potentially fruitful framework for future comparative research on political change in the Arab world.
— Waleed Hazbun
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691136653
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2008
  • Series: Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
CHAPTER ONE: Hybrid Regimes and Arab Democracy 1
CHAPTER TWO: Liberal Constitutionalism: Preserving and Adapting Egypt's Liberal Tradition 32
CHAPTER THREE: Islamic Constitutionalism: The Political Goals of Moderate Islam 77
CHAPTER FOUR: The Decline of Statism and the Convergence of Political Alternatives 131
CHAPTER FIVE: Economic Restructuring and the Rise of Market Liberalism 197
CHAPTER SIX: Liberalism, Islam, and Egypt's Political Future 231
Bibliography 261
Index 279

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