Introduction and Argument
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the character and consequences of Egypt's economic reform and structural adjustment programme of 1991, along with the second stage of reforms in 1996. It discusses the origins of Egypt's crisis and assesses the remedies for the crisis of Egypt's political economy. The book explores the academic consensus that has emerged in the treatment of Egypt's economic and agricultural crisis. It also assesses the impact of the reforms revealed by an examination of aggregate data like productivity levels, exports, poverty levels, and income. The book explains the difficulties surrounding the conceptualisation of agriculture that are used by reformers, the fallacy of comparative advantage, and the tyranny of the market. Agricultural reform has been preoccupied with market deregulation, cash crop promotion, and changes in land tenure.