The Sorrows of Egypt: A Tale of Two Men
Back to the Bazaar
Freedom and Justice in the Modern Middle East
Adrift on the Nile
The Limits of the Opposition in Egypt
Is El Baradei Egypt's Hero?
Mohamed El Baradei and the Chance for Reform
Morning in Tunisia
The Frustrations of the Arab World Boil Over
Letter From Cairo
The People's Military in Egypt?
The U.S.-Egyptian Breakup
Washington's Limited Options in Cairo
The Muslim Brotherhood After Mubarak
What the Brotherhood Is and How it Will Shape the Future
Egypt's Democratic Mirage
How Cairo’s Authoritarian Regime Is Adapting to Preserve Itself
Overcoming Fear and Anxiety in Tel Aviv
How Israel Can Turn Egypt's Unrest Into an Opportunity
Mubarakism Without Mubarak
Why Egypt’s Military Will Not Embrace Democracy
Postcolonial Time Disorder
Egypt and the Middle East, Stuck in the Past
Egypt's Constitutional Ghosts
Deciding the Terms of Cairo’s Democratic Transition
A Tunisian Solution for Egypt’s Military
Why Egypt's Military Will Not Be Able to Govern
The Fall of the Pharaoh
How Hosni Mubarak’s Reign Came to an End
The Black Swan of Cairo
How Suppressing Volatility Makes the World Less Predictable and More Dangerous
Green Movement 2.0?
How U.S. Support Could Lead the Opposition to Victory
Letter From Sana’a
Saleh on the Edge
Bahrain’s Shia Question
What the United States Gets Wrong About Sectarianism
Rage Comes to Baghdad
Will Iraq's Recent Protests Lead to Revolt?
The Sturdy House That Assad Built
Why Damascus Is Not Cairo
Rageless in Riyadh
Why the Al Saud Dynasty Will Remain
Syria's Assad No Longer in Vogue
What Everyone Got Wrong About Bashar al-Assad
Meanwhile in the Maghreb
Have Algeria and Morocco Avoided North Africa’s Unrest?
Bahrain's Base Politics
The Arab Spring and America’s Military Bases
Let Them Eat Bread
How Food Subsidies Prevent (and Provoke) Revolutions in the Middle East
Libya's Terra Incognita
Who and What Will Follow Qaddafi?
What Intervention Looks Like
How the West Can Aid the Libyan Rebels
The Folly of Protection
Is Intervention Against Qaddafi’s Regime Legal and Legitimate?
To the Shores of Tripoli
Why Operation Odyssey Dawn Should Not Stop At Benghazi
A New Lease on Life for Humanitarianism
How Operation Odyssey Dawn Will Revive RtoP
The Mythology of Intervention
Debating the Lessons of History in Libya
Flight of the Valkyries?
What Gender Does and Doesn’t Tell Us About Operation Odyssey Dawn
Winning Ugly in Libya
What the United States Should Learn From Its War in Kosovo
Demystifying the Arab Spring
Parsing the Differences Between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya
Understanding the Revolutions of 2011
Weakness and Resilience in Middle Eastern Autocracies
The Heirs of Nasser
Who Will Benefit From the Second Arab Revolution?
The Rise of the Islamists
How Islamists Will Change Politics, and Vice Versa
Terrorism After the Revolutions
How Secular Uprisings Could Help (or Hurt) Jihadists
For almost 60 years, Egyptians have celebrated Revolution Day on July 23, to commemorate the day in 1952 when Gamal Abdel Nasser and the Free Officers overthrew the monarchy to establish a republic. Next year, the country will celebrate Revolution Day on January 25 -- the first day of the mass protests that forced Hosni Mubarak, the country's president for 30 years, from power.
For the 18 days from January 25 to February 11, when Mubarak finally stepped down, millions of Egyptians demonstrated in the streets to demand, as many chanted, "isqat al-nizam," "the fall of the regime." The Mubarak government first met these protests with violence, but its vast security apparatus soon crumbled in the face of an overwhelming numbers of protesters. Then, the state attempted to use propaganda and fear-mongering to scare the population back into its embrace, but this, too, failed. Finally, the Mubarak regime resorted to making concessions. However, these were too limited, and the death toll from the protests had already grown too high. Fearing that more violence would hurt the military's legitimacy and influence, the army broke with Mubarak and forced him to leave office.
The immediate trigger for the outbreak of protests in Egypt was the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia in mid-January, which demonstrated that sustained and broad-based popular mobilization can lead to political change, even in a police state such as Tunisia. But other factors had long been at work in Egyptian politics and society. In particular, Mubarak's downfall was the result of three factors: increasing corruption and economic exclusion, the alienation of the youth, and the 2010 elections and divisions among the Egyptian elite over questions of succession. When these currents came together, they inspired a broad cross section of Egyptian society to achieve the unthinkable: removing Mubarak from power.
But the revolution did not lead to full regime change. Instead, it has achieved partial change: the military and the state bureaucracy remain in control and are likely to dictate the terms of the country's political transition over the coming months.
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