MAAS-567-01 State, Society, and Power Structures in Egypt
Fall for 2015-2016
Shahin, Emad
As a graduate seminar, this course seeks to discover and highlight patterns in state-society relations and power structures in contemporary Egypt. We will examine this process through a wider framework of democracy and rule of law. The setback of the January 2011 pro-democracy uprisings and the success of the counter-revolution to restore the institutions, structures and practices of the old regime says a lot about the resilience of authoritarianism, a culture that leans toward stability and statism, and the weaknesses of civil society and agents of change. The course aims to help students assess the dynamics of Egyptian politics and society since the July 1952 Revolution to the present. In its attempt to highlight recurring and dynamic patterns of change, it analyzes the evolution, nature and dynamics of the Egyptian state and the causes and consequences of regimes transitions from Nasser to the present. The focus is always on certain relationships: state-society; civil-military; and civil-civil. We will also give special attention to social actors; religion and state, political economy and foreign policy.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
· identify and examine patterns that move, change, or suppress political dynamics in Egypt
- examine the changes that have taken place in the political, economic, social life of Egypt.
- analyze the socio-economic, political, and cultural causes behind change in Egyptian politics and society
- assess the power of the ‘state’ in Egypt and its relations with ‘society.’
· identify and analyze the power structures and institutions that control the state and society
· assess the role of various actors and the underlying interests behind their actions
· examine turning points in Egyptian politics and relate and compare different contexts
· assess the role of regional and international actors
- examine the prospects of political and economic reforms and their impact on the country’s future stability.

Course Outline
Session 1: General Introduction to the Course
Session 2: The Modern Egyptian State
Session 3: State, Society and Power Structures under Nasser
Session 4: State, Society and Power Structures under Sadat
Session 5: State, Society and Power Structures under Mubarak
Session 6: Egypt’s Rough Transitions: Democratization and the Persistence of Authoritarianism
Session 7: Civil-Military Relations in Egypt
Session 8: Civil Society / Civil-Civil Relations
Session 9: Social Actors: Liberals, Youth, Political Parties
Session 10: Social Actors II: Poor and masses, Workers, Middle Class, Peasants
Session 11: Religion and Politics
Session 12: Political Economy
Session 13: Egypt’s Foreign Relations: Egypt as a Center, as a Periphery
Session 14: Post-authoritarian structures: Toward a Democratic State
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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