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Jon B. Alterman Egypt: Stable, but for How Long?

Jon B. Alterman Egypt: Stable, but for How Long?

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Published by ikhwanscope
The regime of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak seems to have
escaped from the challenges of the 1990s with a steadier political configuration.
Mubarak appears poised to rule for at least another decade; even if he
were to leave office during that time, political succession would almost certainly
be smooth and orderly and would preserve the status quo. The tradeoff
for stability, however, has been that the regime now relies on a narrower
base of support than was the case just ten years ago. For the first time since
the 1952 revolution, the Egyptian government has abandoned any pretense
of populism; it has opted for elite support and back-room deals rather than
broad public support or a vibrant political life. In the longer term, the challenge
for the system as it was reconstituted in the 1990s will be whether it
has the durability to survive an economic downturn, social unrest, or both.
The regime of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak seems to have
escaped from the challenges of the 1990s with a steadier political configuration.
Mubarak appears poised to rule for at least another decade; even if he
were to leave office during that time, political succession would almost certainly
be smooth and orderly and would preserve the status quo. The tradeoff
for stability, however, has been that the regime now relies on a narrower
base of support than was the case just ten years ago. For the first time since
the 1952 revolution, the Egyptian government has abandoned any pretense
of populism; it has opted for elite support and back-room deals rather than
broad public support or a vibrant political life. In the longer term, the challenge
for the system as it was reconstituted in the 1990s will be whether it
has the durability to survive an economic downturn, social unrest, or both.

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Published by: ikhwanscope on Dec 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/25/2009

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