Egypt offers a multiple case study of how Barack Obama has confronted some fundamental issues in democracy promotion and of the degree of continuity and change in democracy promotion under him, not just in relation to George W. Bush, but also in a longer historical perspective. It also raises important questions regarding the possible future of US democracy promotion under Obama's successors. The ebb and flow of Obama's democracy and Egypt policies must be seen in the context of their respective salience in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) policy, and also in the context of the relative importance of the region among Obama's wider foreign policy concerns. Under Obama, the United States has increasingly recognized the threat that the 'closing space' - that is systematic attempts by governments to curtail the freedom of civil society and to cut it off from outside sources of support - poses to democracy and democracy promotion.