Can Egypt’s Democratic Hopes Be Revived?

Issue Date October 2019
Volume 30
Issue 4
Page Numbers 158-169
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In today’s Egypt, commitment to democracy appears scarce among actors both within the regime and in civil society, and public-opinion polls further suggest that demands for democratic governance have been abandoned. An undemocratic political understanding and disenchantment with the concept of democracy seemingly prevail among a majority of the population. Rather than seeking a return to democratic government, Egyptians are once again hoping that an authoritarian regime will succeed in raising the standard of living. Only a few groups of activists are gradually articulating a peaceful democratic culture of resistance, found in universities and professional associations as well as on social media and in the underground music scene. Their efforts offer grounds for hope.

About the Author

Amr Hamzawy is a senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. From September 2018 to June 2019, he was in an award year at the German Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, where he wrote this article. Hamzawy was a member of Egypt’s People’s Assembly in 2012, having won office in the first election after the 2011 revolution. His book On the Habits of Neoauthoritarianism: Politics in Egypt from 2013 to 2019 appeared in Arabic in September 2019.

View all work by Amr Hamzawy