Mady- Popular Discontent Revolution and Democratization in Egypt in a Globalizing world.pdf

23 in egypt there were many opportunities to exploit

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23 In Egypt, there were many opportunities to exploit and overcome the economic crises due to a variety of factors, most importantly the use of financial means arising from either natural resources or foreign backers. Businessmen and medium-sized business owners were interested in maintaining the status quo as long as their interests were not subject to direct threats, especially in light of the government’s tendency to bring major businessmen into its entourage and to grant them political and parliamentary seats. Ruling elites tolerated corruption, bribery, and abuse of authority, thus maintaining the status quo for numerous individuals and communities. 24 If those communities were ever to shift their loyalty, the cost of oppression would increase, and the position of the ruling elites would become weaker, thus facilitating democratic transition. This may now be taking place in Egypt and other Arab countries. 25 Economic factors play an influential role in the processes of democratization; in some states political transition requires an economic move toward a free market, as was the case in Eastern European countries in the early 1990s. The Egyptian economic system was free after the implementation of the World Bank reform program in the 21. See Stephan Haggard & Robert R. Kaufman, The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions , in T RANSITIONS TO D EMOCRACY 72, 77-79 (Lisa Anderson ed., 1999). 22. For more details, see, for example, Kurt Weyland, The Politics of Corruption in Latin America , 9 J OURNAL OF D EMOCRACY 108 (1998) (distinguishing corruption from political patronage and discussing corruption generally); A NDRÉ B ANK & T HOMAS R ICHTER , N EOPATRIMONIALISM IN THE M IDDLE E AST AND N ORTH A FRICA : O VERVIEW , C RITIQUE AND A LTERNATIVE C ONCEPTUALIZATION (2010) (identifying the dependency of the client to the patron). 23. See generally Omololu Fagbadebo, Corruption, Governance and Political Instability in Nigeria , 1 A FR . J. OF P OL . S CI . AND I NT L R EL . 28 (2007) (examining Nigeria and describing how the poor economy is due, in part, to the authoritarian regime that was in place). 24. See C HATHAM H OUSE , D EFINING AND T ACKLING C ORRUPTION (2008), available at . 25. See M ADY , supra note 6. This content downloaded from on Fri, 11 Jan 2019 02:33:54 UTC All use subject to
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P OPULAR D ISCONTENT , R EVOLUTION , AND D EMOCRATIZATION IN E GYPT 321 1990s. 26 Yet, the Egyptian economy has suffered from significant imbalances at the macro level and was also negatively affected by high corruption rates and the presence of a group of businessmen in Ahmad Nazif’s government in July 2004. 27 Table 2: Basic economic data in Egypt Indicator 1981 1991 2001 2005 2006 GDP (PPP) per capita, (Current International $) 1,406.268 2,654.290 4,051.913 4,762.119 5,156.672 GDP per capita at constant prices, (EGP) 3,418.944 4,508.064 5,675.467 6,074.286 6,371.669 GDP per capita at current prices, (EGP) 411.195 2,121.207 5,544.049 7,692.857 8,663.394 GDP per capita at current prices, (US$) 587.422 878.615 1,474.481 1,282.766 1,505.957 Source : IMF WEO Online database, available at y=1981&ey=2017&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=469&s=NGDP_R%2CNG
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