Fieldwork was made possible by funding from the Fulbright Commission, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the American Research Center in Egypt. Nathan Brown and Bruce Rutherford provided early guidance on my research, for which I am very appreciative. I am also indebted to ‘Adel’ Omar Sherif, Baudouin Dupret, Gasser Abdel Raziq, and Mohamed Badran for incisive and continuing guidance throughout my stay in Cairo. Finally, Joel Migdal, Michael MCann, Martin Shapiro, Ellis Goldberg, Ceren Belge, and Diana Kapiszweski provided helpful comments on various drafts of the manuscript. Any errors or shortcomings in the study are my own.
Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt
Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
Law & Social Inquiry
Volume 28, Issue 4, pages 883–930, October 2003
How to Cite
Moustafa, T. (2003), Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt. Law & Social Inquiry, 28: 883–930. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2003.tb00826.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
This study seeks to explain the paradoxical expansion of constitutional power in Egypt over the past two decades, despite that country's authoritarian political system. I find that the Egyptian regime established an independent constitutional court, capable of providing institutional guarantees on the security of property rights, in order to attract desperately needed private investment after the failure of its socialist-oriented development strategy. The court continued to expand its authority, fundamentally transforming the mode of interaction between state and society by supporting regime efforts to liberalize the economy while simultaneously providing new avenues for opposition activists and human rights groups to challenge the state. The Egyptian case challenges some of our basic assumptions about the conditions under which we are likely to see a judicialization of politics, and it invites scholars to explore the dynamics of judicial politics in other authoritarian political systems.