Chapter

Authoritarian Transformation or Transition from Authoritarianism? Insights on Regime Change in Egypt

Holger Albrecht

in Arab Spring in Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9789774165368
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781617971365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774165368.003.0013
Authoritarian Transformation or Transition from Authoritarianism? Insights on Regime Change in Egypt

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This chapter maintains that regime type, rather than socio-economic factors, comes as a decisive explanation for the outbreak of popular uprisings. Whereas traditional monarchies have been largely spared of popular revolts, authoritarian republics became the main targets. In a comparative perspective, it is argued that strategic decisions of military apparatuses had a strong impact on the immediate result of the popular revolts. Military establishments have reacted to dawning succession scenarios and therefore supported younger presidents. Yet, they have turned their backs to ‘lame duck’ leaders and deprived those regime incumbents of corporate loyalty. Egypt serves as an intriguing case for studying an authoritarian transformation: from a hegemonic order to a more open, populist polity guided by an autonomous military establishment. The chapter suspects that—due to the survival of authoritarian institutions, agents, and arrangements—the path-dependency nature of the transformation process renders a timely transition to liberal democracy unlikely.

Keywords: regime change; authoritarian transformation; civil-military relations; Egypt

Chapter.  7877 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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