chapter  1
10 Pages

Egypt and the Brotherhood in a pressure cooker

This chapter narrates the political, social and economic crises in the months preceding the 25 January 2011 uprisings in Egypt. It argues that the disintegration of pacts, deals and coalitions of both a formal and informal nature between Mubarak and his regime on the one hand, and various political and social forces including the armed forces on the other, is critical for understanding how Egypt arrived at the tipping point. The political ascendency of Gamal Mubarak and his business group led to the breakdown of the pluralist-corporatist strategies previously pursued by President Mubarak. The exclusion of all political forces from any power-sharing arrangement in the elections of 2010 catalysed the opposition parties and the Muslim Brotherhood to coalesce into a counter-force against the status quo. Further, Gamal Mubarak’s aspirations for presidency led to the rupture of one of the most important sources of Mubarak’s power: the pact with the military.