By Eberhard Kienle

The new historical past and politics of Egypt illuminates the tortuous and infrequently contradictory courting among liberalization and democracy in 3rd global nations. Eberhard Kienle argues that the much-vaunted reform and liberalization of Egypt’s economic climate has been partial and selective, faraway from reaping rewards every body. the writer appears to be like at how monetary reform and liberalization have didn't produce a better measure of political democracy: notions of non-compulsory pluralism, political responsibility, fresh elections, a certainly unfastened press, and the containment of police powers, that have became out to be an exceptional fantasy overlaying regulations on political participation and civil liberties. This booklet will shed a lot mild at the predicament among political and fiscal reform confronted by means of such a lot of constructing nations at the present time.

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Additional info for A Grand Delusion: Democracy and Economic Reform in Egypt (Library of Modern Middle East Studies)

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6 The Law of Shame allowed the punishment of any act contrary to morality, as defined by the regime. As a catch-all, it applied to the dissemination of ‘immoral’ messages as much as to public criticism of religious values. Those accused of such crimes appeared before a special court, the Court of Ethics (Mahkamat al-Qiyam), often called the Court of Shame (Mahkamat al-‘Aib), which, independently of any ruling by ordinary courts, could deprive the accused of their political rights and even of some economic rights.

The most significant of these was undoubtedly the constraint that the single-party system had put on political representation, even though the single party had never been homogenous and had always been divided into different trends and currents. Another measure was the lifting in 1980 of the state of emergency, which was re-imposed only after Sadat’s assassination in 1981. One may safely say that the political regime was no more liberal at the beginning than it was at the end of the 1970s; however, the liberties granted in the meantime were accompanied by measures of limitation that often emptied them of their content or at least prevented them from having significant impact.

The amendments were only abrogated a year later after a sustained campaign of protest by journalists. 15 INTRODUCTION Meanwhile, the rights of individuals wanted for political reasons were also respected less and less. Cases of torture, disappearances and administrative detention without charge or trial increased substantially in the 1990s. From the end of 1992, an ever-growing number of civilians was sentenced by military courts, which, thanks to a questionable interpretation of the laws and the constitution, increasingly replaced the Supreme State Security Courts in political trials.

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