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The Egyptian Revolution and Resulting Reforms


The Egyptian revolution was a result of a long-lasting urge by the people for social justice. The uprising also created considerable shifts in society that translated into further democratization of society, and the government was able to launch several successful economic reforms (Teti et al. 57). Nevertheless, these reforms have proved to be insufficient; economic growth has been too slow, with a rate of approximately 13% unemployment and a level of poverty at almost 50% (Salamey 117). The major reason for this inefficiency is the lack of real political and social reforms in Egypt. This paper concentrates on the evaluation of economic, political, and social reforms implemented by the government after the revolution.

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Preliminary Expectations/Hypotheses

The current situation in Egypt is rather difficult as the country is still trying to overcome the challenges associated with the social unrest that took place five years ago. Importantly, the revolution in Egypt resulted in new major changes in the political arena. The chosen leader of the country was replaced and the military coup revealed the existing tensions among different groups (Joya 11). Ongoing dissatisfaction of people and elite groups discourages investors from investing in the economy at the very time when the country needs investment. The government also focuses on some sectors of the economy (e.g. the energy and tourism industries) while ignoring others. People still have no real power, and some basic rights are still violated. Although direct censorship does not exist, indirect control over the media is persistent (Hassan 219). The lack of freedom of speech is an alarming sign that can signify the shift back towards autocratic rule.

All these factors suggest that the government will not be able to implement successful economic reforms as social and political transformations are not taking place. Such challenges as corruption and the lack of political pluralism are likely to result in failed social and political reforms. It seems reasonable to expect that economic reforms will be slow and ineffective while political and social reforms (if any) will be rather formal. From this analysis, therefore, the preliminary hypothesis can be set as: the Egyptian revolution failed to lead to the development of a democratic society because the governmental economic reforms are not supported by effective (real) political and social reforms.

Refined Research Question

The preliminary research of the economic, political, and social situation in Egypt enables the researcher to craft a research question that can be formulated as follows:

To what extent have ineffective economic reforms and the lack of social and political reforms led to the failure of the Egyptian revolution?

Literature Review

The outcomes of the uprising in Egypt have been studied from different angles. Teti et al. stress that the political unrest in Egypt was the underlying reason for the failure of economic and social changes, as well as the entire revolution (58). Joya also claims that political elites made the country turn back to neoliberalism, which translated into the support of certain groups and failing reforms (15). Corruption and the persistence of the autocratic political tradition are regarded as another factor contributing to the slow development of the Egyptian economy, and even some reversal trends associated with the social sphere (Salamey 121). Rivetti also acknowledges the influence of political shifts on the development of a neoliberal society (9). However, the author also claims that economic challenges and failures lead to the growing dissatisfaction of people that can result in new uprisings.

Some authors pay attention to the reverse in the development of the civic society with the focus on the media’s role (Hassan 218). It is possible to conclude that researchers concentrate on different aspects and spheres while the major overall focus is on the struggle of political elites, reforms and their effectiveness, civil rights, and people’s perspectives on the matter. The vast majority of these scholars agree that the Egyptian revolution failed to reach its major goals.

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Annotated Bibliography

Hassan, Abdalla F. Media, Revolution, and Politics in Egypt: The Story of an Uprising. I.B. Tauris, 2015.

The author claims that the Egyptian revolution led to the democratization of the media during the first years after the uprising. Nevertheless, political elites created indirect censorship, which results in a lack of freedom and true opposition to the existing regime.

Joya, Angela. “Neoliberalism, the State and Economic Policy Outcomes in the Post-Arab Uprisings: The Case of Egypt.” Mediterranean Politics, vol. 22, no. 3, 2017, pp. 339-361.

This source provides valuable insights into the ways the Egyptian economy has evolved during the past six years. The author claims that leading political groups collaborate with international donors and focus on several sectors of the economy. This approach has resulted in slow economic development and a worsening of people’s financial issues.

Rivetti, Paola. “Continuity and Change Before and After the Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco: Regime Reconfiguration and Policymaking in North Africa.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 42, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-11.

The author draws parallels among three countries and their development after the so-called Arab Spring. The comparison unveils the major reasons for failing reforms in Egypt. The conclusion reached is that Egypt failed to implement effective political changes, which led to economic and social issues.

Salamey, Imad. “Post-Arab Spring: Changes and Challenges.” Third World Quarterly, vol. 36, no. 1, 2015, pp. 111-129.

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The author provides a detailed analysis of the situation in Egypt. It is noted that some economic reforms were successful, but many policies and changes failed to help the country’s economy recover.

Teti, Andrea, et al. The Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia: Social, Political, and Economic Transformations. Springer, 2017.

The researcher compares Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan with the focus on the political, economic, and social shifts that have taken place after the revolution. It is stressed that Egypt lags in many spheres due to its return to neoliberalism. Slow economic growth is a result of the lack of real political and social reforms.

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