Egypt and the Politics of Change in the Arab Middle East is a forward-looking analysis of the relationship between economic and political reform in Egypt, and of the evolving nature of Arab society and political culture both in Egypt and elsewhere.
Writing from the perspective of a recently retired ambassador with extensive Arab regional experience, Robert Bowker discusses the potential impact of systemic resistance to pressures for greater transparency, accountability and political reform amid ongoing demographic, educational and generational changes. His analysis encompasses the military and security services, the influence of the shadow state and the impact of social surveillance, coercion and corruption. Looking ahead, he discusses emerging business models, returning Arab expatriates, the gradual empowerment of women and the impact of Islam. He considers the political sustainability of economic reform, including the challenges facing marginalized groups. His analysis concludes by reviewing the regional security and political context of reform, the importance of political leadership over the coming decade and the role of external parties.
Compelling, insightful and thought-provoking, the book provides a balanced but cautiously optimistic assessment of Egypt's prospects. It is essential reading for those concerned about the outlook for state and society in Egypt and in other Arab countries.
Robert Bowker, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (the Middle East and Central Asia), The Australian National University, Canberra and former Ambassador to Egypt
Contents: Foreword by Jerrold D. Green Preface Introduction: Arab Middle East States and Societies in Transition 1. Getting to Grips with Globalization: Differentiation and Integration in the Arab Middle East 2. Middle East Arab States and Society: Fragmentation and Change 3. Political Reform in Egypt 4. Islam, Globalization and the Outlook for the Arab Middle East 5. The Sustainability of Economic Reform: Governments, Social Contracts and Marginalized Groups 6. Outlook: Demography, Democracy, Dinosaurs and Diplomacy Bibliography Index