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Transition to What: Egypt's Uncertain Departure from Neo-authoritarianism


The events of January-February 2011 have opened a new era in Egyptian contemporary history, putting an end to the 30-year long authoritarian rule of president Hosni Mubarak. The new, evolving regime might reasonably be expected to be more pluralistic and allow some more political space compared to Mubarak's time. And yet, the temptation to employ old and deeply rooted formulas of power might be hard to resist, especially because finding new ways to govern implies a radical change in the internal and external balance of power and in the distribution of resources between the rulers and the ruled. That notwithstanding, the mark left on the Egyptian people by the experience of a large and, at least in the short term, successful popular mobilization should not be underestimated. Even in the not unlikely event of a restoration of the regime under the watchful eyes of the military, the people's empowerment may play out in the years to come in unexpected ways.

Paper originariamente presentati al seminario IAI-GMF su "Egypt: A Neo-authoritarian State in Troubled Water", Roma, 21 gennaio 2011.

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