Institutionalizing Authoritarianism in Egypt: al-Sisi’s Struggle for Power

Source: Italian Institute for International Political Studies

Author(s): Lucia Ardovini

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January 25th marks the 8th anniversary of the popular protests that brought an end to Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime. At the turn of 2011, almost three decades of worsening economic conditions, restriction of political space and gross abuses of human rights had left Egyptians – literally – hungry for change. However, eight years after the beginning of the 18 days that brought a country together and toppled a dictator, it seems like the cries for “bread, freedom and human dignity” have long been forgotten. Instead, Egypt is now in the midst of the worst human rights crisis of its history so far, political space has all but disappeared, and a faltering economy suggests that the country has gone back to square one. As President al-Sisi struggles to hold on to power, he increasingly relies on lawmaking to legalize his behavior and institutionalize authoritarian rule. In retrospect, it appears that Egypt is considerably worse off today than it was 8 years ago.

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