Egypt Case Study

Forster, R. (April 2017)

Policy points:
• The Egypt case highlights the tensions that can arise when using constitutional reform as the primary conflict resolution mechanism.
• Although initial elections were free and fair, attempts at marginalizing political opponents via scapegoating and censorship became the norm as questions of identity emerged during the constitution drafting process and solidified political differences.
• Tensions also emerged between newly elected officials from the previously banned Muslim Brotherhood and long-time officials in the public sector, military and judiciary, as well as business elites.
• The drafting of the 2014 constitution, although constitutionally providing for a greater level of inclusiveness than the 2012 constitution, was marred by the exclusion of the opposition.

Abstract: The Egyptian revolution of 2011 brought long-term political differences to the foreground of Egypt’s national consciousness. This case study traces how the issue of inclusion was negotiated during Egypt’s constitutional drafting processes in 2012 and 2013, and how the issue of identity raised by the constitutional drafting processes cemented political differences. It concludes that although the 2014 constitution provides for a greater level of inclusiveness on paper it has been marred by a crack-down that goes beyond the supporters of the former regime.

Keywords: Egypt; Inclusion; Constitutional Reform

Citation:

Download briefing paper 2017/19.

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