Egypt faces three major and related political challenges to a successful democratic transition: the role the military is playing and will continue to play; the presence of powerful Islamic forces, not only the Muslim Brotherhood, but also the Salafi groups and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya; and, somewhat more unexpectedly, the growing reluctance of some self-proclaimed democrats to put the future of the country in the hands of a democratic process. The way these challenges are handled in the coming months will determine whether Egypt moves toward democracy or sinks into a new authoritarianism. Unless Islamists and liberals manage to find a modus vivendi in the coming months, the outcome will be a new authoritarianism, with an alliance between the military and so-called liberals as a more likely outcome than a takeover by radical Islamists.
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
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