Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Protests in Egypt


As the situation in Egypt develops, talk of elections and democracy are widespread and seeming increasingly irresistible.
Should Mubarak's regime come to an end, Egypt is likely to face the first democratic elections in decades. Amongst talks of democratisation, some argue that the country does not possess a strong, organised and stable opposition to ensure free and fair elections and a consequentially reliable democratic government. In line with much of the 1990s discourse on democratisation abroad, it has been suggested that Egypt should possibly find the support of Europe and America in constructing a transitional government, to sustain the country as it develops its democratic structures before carrying out elections. 

Yet, these echoes of external state-building run counter to the growing call for extensive local participation in what should be a local effort towards achieving organic democracy. A new chapter in the history of Egypt is about to be written to what extent the locals are going to allow external actors, states and international organisations, to be the ones holding the pen remains to be seen...

Could Egypt be the West's next State-Building mission?

Follow the events here:

Elisa Randazzo
PhD Student
Security and International Relations Programme


  1. I do hope that Egypt is NOT the West's next state-building mission. I think that Egyptians are completely capable of holding democratic elections and ruling themselves, and interference from the West could possibly be counter-productive and unnecessary!

  2. Leia, I think your view is in line with much of the critique of state-building in the last decade. The question is whether those who make the decisions are able to convince their voting public that Egypt needs it. Or even how those who are advocating for state-building think that this could possibly a transitional authority. Generally, state-building has tended to follow an intervention in a post-conflict or war-torn territory, mostly following conflicts of ethnic nature. But the case of Egypt would fall under a completely different category, that of a country 'almost ready' to democratise. And this could also possibly mean that Egypt might come to be considered the one potential state-building mission with a higher chance of succeeding, precisely because it lacks all the elements of a rooted and systemic ethnic dispute. I do hope this isn't the case. But aside from personal opinions, I think it really isn't the time for western policy advisors to put the state-building card on the table.


  3. The state-building begins: http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0201/egypt-business.html

    What egypt needs now is a lower tax rate for it's super rich in order to create jobs.

    Egypt does so far seem to be a (without being romantic) a perfect revolution. Genuine change seems to be happening with relatively little violence. There also seem to be no extreme forces from either side of the divide either religious or left wing. With the army acting as a buffer between the state and the citizens. Hopefully all these conditions translate to something that is workable for the future. Its funny to note the complete impotence of outside powers such as the US and UK.

    Any outside interference is unnecessary and harmful at this stage.