Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Urban Backlash against Democracy: Battling the Tyranny of the Majority or the Rise of Rural Power?

Robert Bianchi, author of the still rewarding and remarkably topical Unruly Corporatism (OUP, 1989), offers an analysis that is incisive and persuasive.  Through an examination of the election results in 2011 and 2012, he demonstrates that Mohammed Mursi and the Ikhwan's Freedom and Justice Party enjoyed a deep level of support among its sizable but comparatively disadvantaged constituency.  The electoral results correspond to the deep divisions between the Egyptian geographic and economic peripheries and the relatively affluent urban and provincial middle and working classes, not to mention privileged elites who benefited significantly from the pre-revolutionary status quo and strongly supported General Ahmed Shafiq's campaign for the presidency.  The upshot of Bianchi paper is that notwithstanding the propaganda of the al-Sisi regime, one easily surmises that Egypt remains a deeply cleaved society and that the base constituencies of the Ikhwan remain.

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