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
In an essay in Foreign Affairs last spring, I wrote about the obstacles impeding the emergence of a more liberal polity in Egypt. Although popular demands for political change have intensified in the past decade, the prospects for reform remain dim.
Over the years, foreign observers have argued that Egyptians favor political change by parsing the statements and actions of Egyptian activists of all stripes: the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, a small group of liberals, Nasserist holdovers, judges, bureaucrats, and labor protestors. But these observers have never been able to identify an actual pathway to political reform. In fact, Egypt’s political order has produced a system that seems impervious to change. The Egyptian regime of President Hosni Mubarak has proven adaptable to both internal and external pressures, not brittle and vulnerable to political challenges.
In the last six weeks, however, two new developments have emerged with the potential to affect Egypt’s political trajectory dramatically. In early March, Mubarak underwent an operation to remove either his gallbladder (according to the German hospital) or a benign tumor (as reported by the Egyptian press). He remained in intensive care for five days and continues to convalesce in Heidelberg University Hospital. Regardless of what ails him, Mubarak is now 81 years old, an age when people can die suddenly or never recover from seemingly routine illnesses or medical procedures. His extended stay in Germany has left many Egyptians wondering not only whether he will run for reelection in 2011 but who is actually running the country right now. Mubarak’s illness has served to only intensify the decade-long national discussion of who will be his ultimate successor. Although the mechanics of the transition appear to have been determined, there remains uncertainty about precisely who will follow Mubarak. Much of the publicly available evidence, however, suggests that it will be his second son, Gamal Mubarak.
Perhaps more important was the return to Egypt in February of Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic
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