In this chapter, we shall consider some of the central features of the political economy of the Egyptian countryside, which have been identified by other researchers (most notably Mahmoud AbdeI-Fadil)! and which are central to our own analysis. In other words, we shall here survey the evidence with respect to the mechanisms and institutions which have been central to the emergence of rich peasant dominance in contemporary Egypt. This is an important prelude to the treatment of the ILO data and the author's study villages in the following chapters. As we shall see, the influences identified in this chapter were crucial in the study villages, both with respect to the causal factors behind the inverse relationship and its disappearance.