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In the Guise of Democracy
Governance in Contemporary Egypt
The central issue addressed in this book is how an authoritarian system of government with personalised, unlimited presidential powers is maintained alongside multi-party legislative elections. The argument is that the democratic institutions are such that they pose little challenge to the president and are primarily instruments of presidential control. The authoritarian rule which was established in Egypt by Nasser in the early 1950s appears to have been preserved to date, not simply as a result of the immense powers which Nasser vested in the office of the presidency, but, more subtly, as a result of the clientistic co-option strategy adopted by his successors, Sadat and Mubarak. In this study May Kassem examines the functions of the non-competitive party system in contemporary Egypt and raises a number of issues that cast doubt on its durability. Her firsthand fieldwork combined with sound analytical judgement reveals the true nature and likely course of democratisation in the second largest country in the Middle East .
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'her first -hand field work combined with sound analytical judgement reveals the true nature and likely course of democratisation in the second largest country in the Middle East.' The Middle East 'Dr May Kassem ... contributes effectively to our understanding of Egyptian politics and ... contributes to our understanding of the motives and consequences of the political liberalization experiments on which Middle East authoritarian regimes have embarked in recent decades.' Dialogue