October 08, 2007

Egypt: Security, Political, and Islamist Challenges



Authored by Dr. Sherifa D. Zuhur.


This monograph approaches three issues in contemporary Egypt: failures of governance and political development, the continued strength of Islamism, and counterterrorism. The Egyptian government forged a truce with its most troublesome Islamist militants in 1999. However, violence emerged again from new sources of Islamist militancy from 2003 into 2006. All of the previously held conclusions about the role of state strength versus movements divisions that led to the truce are now void as “Al-Qa’idism” continues to plague Egypt. The even more pressing need for democratization has been setback by the security situation. Yet political pressures might threaten the country's stability more thoroughly, in the longer run, than the sporadic terrorist attacks. Widespread political discontent has been expressed for the last several years and, unless uneven economic conditions improve and greater consensus is achieved, Egypt could move in one of three different directions.

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