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Egypt's judiciary once acted as a brake on the most authoritarian impulses of successive regimes. But now it is leading the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
A rallying cry that united almost all Egyptians in 2011 was the need for a new constitutional order -- one that would promote democracy and impartiality. After the revolution, the new government tried to create one but failed. Here is how Egypt can do better this time.
From a liberal democratic perspective, there is much to like in Egypt's new constitution and some things to worry about as well. There are also gaping holes and ambiguities that only politics can fill in -- and, given the current state of Egyptian democracy, that is where the real problems lie.
This is an important book not only for its rich empirical exploration of the Muslim Brotherhood but also for Brown's insights into semiauthoritarian regimes, which allow opposition groups just enough room to organize and compete but not enough to win elections or form governments.
This volume is an engaging survey of what is known and not known about the causes and consequences of democratization.
Egypt has a long constitutional history -- some of it liberal, some of it authoritarian. As Egypt's reformers look to create a new political order after Mubarak, what sort of basic document will they need?
This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.