USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

Mubarak's machine :


Material Information

Mubarak's machine : the durability of the authoritarian regime in egypt
Physical Description:
Perkins, Andrea
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science/Government and Intl Affairs -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


ABSTRACT: The Egyptian authoritarian regime is a mammoth machine created and headed by President Hosni Mubarak as an instrument for the exercise of his own power. His ability to influence every facet of the character of Egypt lies in his previous career experience, the involvement in politics of his immediate family, his commitment to unpopular but lucrative foreign policies, and the bureaucratic obstacle course he created for opposition entities to navigate. Through persistent efforts to prepare himself for national leadership prior to gaining power, then to consolidate his power in the institutions of Egypt, Mubarak has built a state organization with a solid legal basis for suppression of opposition. Using an extensive system of patronage, Mubarak maintains elite support for his continued control of the state. Sustained adherence to the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty brings Egypt significant foreign aid that compensates for some of its economic shortfalls, and affords Mubarak the opportunity to serve as a regional partner in advancing the Middle East Peace Process, reinforcing Mubarak's fitness to rule on the international stage. The maintenance of a pervasive and fiercely loyal security apparatus also gives Mubarak the ability to disrupt any internal opposition activity before it can fully mobilize a call for change. The manner in which Mubarak crafted a democratic façade to cover his authoritarian regime is an artful nod to the Third Wave of democratization; he recognized that to remain in power in the 21st century, Egypt must be perceived as democratic in nature by the international community. That election irregularities, policy barriers to political participation, and single-party control of the legislature prevent the creation of a truly representative government is an important, but difficult to prove fact that Mubarak's façade democratic motions are designed to disguise. It is prudent to consider how Mubarak's exit from Egyptian politics will affect the authoritarian system he has built and managed since 1981. The likely accession of his son, Gamal, will keep most power guarantors in place, but the globalizing forces of this century will require a fresh approach to managing domestic, international, and global relations.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Andrea Perkins.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains X pages.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0003426
usfldc handle - e14.3426
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam 22 Ka 4500
controlfield tag 007 cr-bnu---uuuuu
008 s2010 flu s 000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E14-SFE0003426
XX9999 (Online)
1 100
Perkins, Andrea.
0 245
Mubarak's machine :
b the durability of the authoritarian regime in egypt
h [electronic resource] /
by Andrea Perkins.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains X pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
3 520
ABSTRACT: The Egyptian authoritarian regime is a mammoth machine created and headed by President Hosni Mubarak as an instrument for the exercise of his own power. His ability to influence every facet of the character of Egypt lies in his previous career experience, the involvement in politics of his immediate family, his commitment to unpopular but lucrative foreign policies, and the bureaucratic obstacle course he created for opposition entities to navigate. Through persistent efforts to prepare himself for national leadership prior to gaining power, then to consolidate his power in the institutions of Egypt, Mubarak has built a state organization with a solid legal basis for suppression of opposition. Using an extensive system of patronage, Mubarak maintains elite support for his continued control of the state. Sustained adherence to the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty brings Egypt significant foreign aid that compensates for some of its economic shortfalls, and affords Mubarak the opportunity to serve as a regional partner in advancing the Middle East Peace Process, reinforcing Mubarak's fitness to rule on the international stage. The maintenance of a pervasive and fiercely loyal security apparatus also gives Mubarak the ability to disrupt any internal opposition activity before it can fully mobilize a call for change. The manner in which Mubarak crafted a democratic faade to cover his authoritarian regime is an artful nod to the Third Wave of democratization; he recognized that to remain in power in the 21st century, Egypt must be perceived as democratic in nature by the international community. That election irregularities, policy barriers to political participation, and single-party control of the legislature prevent the creation of a truly representative government is an important, but difficult to prove fact that Mubarak's faade democratic motions are designed to disguise. It is prudent to consider how Mubarak's exit from Egyptian politics will affect the authoritarian system he has built and managed since 1981. The likely accession of his son, Gamal, will keep most power guarantors in place, but the globalizing forces of this century will require a fresh approach to managing domestic, international, and global relations.
Advisor: Abdelwahab Hechiche, Ph.D.
Dissertations, Academic
x Political Science/Government and Intl Affairs
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


Mubaraks Machine: The Durability of the Authoritarian Regime in Egypt by Andrea M. Perkins A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Government and International Affairs College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida M ajor Professor: Abdelwahab Hechiche Ph.D. Dajin Peng, Ph.D. Eunjung Choi, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 8 2010 Keywords: bureaucracy, democratization Gamal, reform, dictatorship Copyri ght 2010, Andrea M. Perkins


Table of Contents Abstract ii Introduction 1 Previous Explanations of Authoritarian Durability 5 Putting the Authoritarian back in Authoritarianism 22 Mubaraks Ascent and Consolidation 26 The Man, the Myth, the Legend 26 Building the Machine 32 Oiling the Machine 38 Egyptian Authoritarianism: Breaking the Third Wave 54 Weathering the Storm of Reform 55 Post-Mubarak Projections 66 Institutional Bridges to Next-Generation Authoritarianism 67 Gamal Mubaraks Civilian Challenge 71 Conclusions 77 References 80 Appendices 82 Appendix A: Confirmation of Theory in Similar Cases Syria, Iran, and Libya 83 Appendix B: Confirmation of Theory in Dissimilar Cases Romania and Greece 89 i


Mubaraks Machine: The Durability of the Authoritarian Regime in Egypt Andrea M. Perkins ABSTRACT The Egyptian authoritarian regime is a mammoth machine created and headed by President Hosni Mubarak as an instrument for the exercise of his own power. His ability to influence every facet of the character of Egypt lies in his previous career experience, the involvement in politics of his immediate family, his commitment to unpopular but lucrative foreign policies, and the bureaucratic obstacle course he created for opposition entities to navigate. Through persistent efforts to prepare himself for national leadership prior to gaining power, then to consolidate his power in the institutions of Egypt, Mubarak has built a state organization with a solid legal basis for suppression of opposition. Using an extensive system of patronage, Mubarak maintains elite support for his continued control of the state. Sustained adherence to the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty brings Egypt significant foreign aid that compensates for some of its economic shortfalls, and affords Mubarak the opportunity to serve as a regional partner in advancing the Middle East Peace Process, reinforcing Mubaraks fitness to rule on the international stage. The maintenance of a pervasive and fiercely loyal security apparatus also gives Mubarak the ability to disrupt any internal opposition activity before it can fully mobilize a call for change. The manner in which Mubarak crafted a democratic faade to cover his authoritarian regime is an artful nod to the Third Wave of democratization; he recognized ii


iii that to remain in power in the 21st century, Egypt must be perceived as democratic in nature by the international community. That election irregularities, policy barriers to political participation, and single-party control of the legislature prevent the creation of a truly representative government is an important, but difficult to prove fact that Mubaraks faade democratic motions are designed to disguise. It is prudent to consider how Mubaraks exit from Egyptian politics will affect the authoritarian system he has built and managed since 1981. The likely accession of his son, Gamal, will keep most power guarantors in place, but the globalizing forces of this century will require a fresh approach to managing domestic, international, and global relations.


Introduction Many words have been written in the last twenty years about the transitions of authoritarian systems to forms of democr atic governance in what Samuel Huntington called the Third Wave of democratization. He defined a wave as a group of transitions from nondemocratic to democratic regimes that occur within a speci fied timeframe that significantly outnumber transiti ons in the opposite direction. His Third Wave began in 1974 and has yet to be officially declared complete, though transitions had slowed considerably by the mid-1990s (Huntington 1991, 15). The extensive attention paid to democratizing transitions during this period crea ted an assumption in the field of political science that democracy is the most pref erable form of government, and hopeful researchers proclaimed the inevitability of democratic transitions in the remaining authoritarian regimes as globa lization would surely inspire demands for political selfdetermination in societies worldwide. Despite the optimistic projections of scholars since the Third Wave began, many authoritarian sy stems remain, many dictators control their public and private spheres as before, and many populations are no more insistent on a voice in politics than before the wave. Authoritarianism in the 21st century must be studied anew as it is no longer just a manner of controlling citizens within a state, but is also employed as a defense against external pressures and a prot ection of the sometimes painful process of development in countries too politically weak to implement modernizing ch anges through participative politics. For many (especially Western) research ers, the authoritarian system presents an interesting topic of study simply because it is different from the liberal democratic 1


tradition in which they were raised, and th e com parisons possible increase understanding of both forms. Authoritarianism has b een the most common form of governance throughout history, and several major player s in international politics are still authoritarian; this prevalence, coupled w ith Huntingtons ideas on reverse waves of democratization, compels research into how au thoritarian states function in order to be prepared for any possible reversions to auth oritarian rule by newly-democratized states (Brooker 2000, 1-2). Egypt is an impressive example of authoritar ian durability through the Third Wave of democratization, and as a ma jor regional player in the volatile Middle East, bears study as both a model of regime preservation and a case for the positive role that authoritarian systems can play in maintain ing stability in a stat e that would otherwise be mired in chaos and claim-staking by competing elites and str uggling lower classes. Egypts authoritarian nature can be char acterized as dynamic, but immobile; that is, there is almost constant political activ ity on various fronts, but no movement of the central interests of the state away from the core of the authoritarian leader. The military histories of Middle East regime s are formative in determining the leadership styles of its authoritarians and, in most cases, have aided the regimes in preventing steps toward democratization (Cook 2007, ix). It is logical that citizens are not c oncerned with seeking greater political rights when their survival or security is being threatened, and the repetitive conflicts in Egypts history sin ce the 1952 revolution has had a demobilizing effect on its citizens and made its leaders re ticent to share power with anyone whose top priority is anything other than the defens e of the nation. When Gamal Abdal Nasser led the Free Officers in a factiona l military coup in July 1952, part of the military quickly took over the rest of the military first, government buildings second, and media and 2


communications nodes third, which allowed the coup participants to control the governm ents coup defenses before they even knew they were under threat (Brooker 2000, 69). After taking power, the Free Offi cers sought to maintain popular support by civilianizing the ruling structures though still controlled by military personnel by instituting control of the state by a political party. Thus, the same actors were cast in new roles as the civilian leadership of the new republic (Brooker 2000, 121). The ruling party structure has survived to the present, and the current Egyptian president, Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, is a produ ct of this tumultuous period in Egyptian history. His style of authoritar ian leadership is distinct fr om both of his post-revolution predecessors, Presidents Nasser and Sadat, a nd the determination of President Mubarak to maintain Egypts national ro le as the leading Arab state has shaped his actions to consolidate and defend the power of the ruling party, which in turn ensures his position of strength within the country. This unquestione d mandate to govern in his own state gives his perspectives great weight among the leader s of the Middle East in discussions of transnational issues, thus reinforcing Egypts prominence externally and Mubaraks dominance at home. Beginning even before his ascension to the presidency, Mubarak worked to elevate the interests of the dominant politic al party, the Arab Socialist Union (renamed the National Democratic Party in 1978), in order to build a solid powerbase for his control. He encouraged the clear delineat ion of Egyptian elite Ins and lower class Outs to gain the support of the Ins who bol stered his power by accepting his patronage. The truly impressive second step in Muba raks legitimation was the empowerment of thousands of state bureaucrats (w ho were cast as Nearly-Ins) to control the function of the 3


state at lower levels and pr event claim -staking by the Outs This co-optation of what could have become an elite-challenging middle class shows the foresight Mubarak put into constructing his authoritarian regime, whose core objective is stability, and the commitment he has to preventing the des cent of Egypt into an unknown, potentially chaotic transition to democracy. It is prudent to consider Mubaraks intent in maintain ing his authorita rian control beyond the oft-cited Western assumptions of greed and power mongering, and to avoid normative judgments on the propriety of his act ions. Taking those ideas into account, this research is simply an argument that the man of Hosni Mubarak is every bit as responsible for the durability of the Egyptian authoritarian regime as the elevation of the military elite or the dominance of the ruling party. Neither military control nor institutional factors could have provided the coherent, stable, modernizing leadership that Mubarak has provided since 1981. In examining the traditi onal causes of transition to democratic governance, Mubaraks defenses to those causes, and the methods by which he has addressed the nations basic need s outside of participative poli tics, this study lays out a case for his primary effect on the continuation of authoritarian rule in Egypt. In addition to the driving force of Mubarak's dominance, this research will prove that Mubarak carried out a type of self-prepa ration for rule that allowed him to make the most effective use of the instruments of state power in order to maintain hi s own control for nearly three decades. 4


Previous Explanations of Authoritarian Durability Samuel Huntington recognized that Egypt was an exceptional state system that had not fallen to the Third Wave of democratization despite major socioeconomic and political challenges that woul d have destabilized, deconstruc ted, then democratized other states. He contends that regime change is initiated by competition among political elites, that the elite factions compete to convince the urban middle class to champion their cause in the street, and that regime change in favor of the winning faction occurs when the public discontent reaches critical levels. Hun tington admits the failure of this formula in Egypt is three-fold. First, Mubarak has prevented the emergence of competition among elite factions through steady, large-scale patrona ge of the political elit e. With fairness and continuity, he has removed the motivation fo r various elites to vie for more power and influence. The power is his and the benefits are theirs; to compete for a share of his power is to risk the loss of their benefits, so the elite remain loyal (Huntington 1991, 36). Second, there is no urban middle class to champion other causes in the street. The cultivation of the Nearly-Ins as something better than Outs allows the tier of society that would have formed a middle class to instead create an extensive (sometimes invasive) state bureaucracy that acts to upho ld the structure of the govern ment rather than protest it (Huntington 1991, 67). Finally, th e prospect for any public discontent to reach critical levels in Egypt is very dim due to the overwhelming presence and tactical freedom of the security apparatus. Even if E gyptian elites did compete, and even if there were an urban middle class who would clamor for reform, the public space for such dissent is very limited (and could be completely closed) by the mass of security and intelligence organs 5


that are well-trained and em powe red to neutralize threats to the regime as if they are threats to their own family, because they are. The fierce loyalty of the security forces is more economic than ideological, but the cr ushing poverty in the country means that loyalty may be even stronger than an ideology could inspire (Huntington 1991, 76). Having conceded that Egypt is unlikely to undergo a transition to democracy soon enough to be part of the Third Wave, Hunti ngton goes on to make cl ear that he does not consider Egypt a member of a reverse wave either (Huntington 1991, 290-91). Defining a reverse wave as a group of countries reverti ng to authoritarianism af ter being part of a wave of democratization, Huntington points ou t that even during its period of relative liberalization during th e 1990s, Egypt never experienced a true transition to democracy from which it has regressed. Motions made to ward increasing public access to politics do not constitute democratization if they coinci de with efforts to re duce the power of the structures in which the pub lic is given influence (Hun tington 1991, 287). That Egypt was able to completely avoid the Third Wave of democratization, incl uding avoiding reform calls from citizens and elites alike, is a test ament to the strength of the system Mubarak built and his effectiveness at responding to ch anging global conditions that could threaten his power. One of the major new theorists in authoritarian regime durability is Jason Brownlee, whose perspective on institutional fa ctors as the main guarantor of regime perseverance is compelling (Brownlee 2007, 2). He cites the importance of how an authoritarian regime is formed as indica tive of how well it will survive, giving two conditions necessary for the maintenance of the system. First, the new regime must take advantage of its initial leverage over the stat e to form institutions that channel its own 6


power into the critical nodes of society that m ust be controlled to deter challenges to its rule. These institutions (ideally) will also channel the efforts and energies of potential challengers away from those critical nodes, thus protecting the regi mes control. Second, the regime should institute some form of limited elections. This will divert some opposition efforts into competing for a st ake in the regime, though obviously at a severe disadvantage, and will thus decrease the grounds upon which reformists can demand wider political rights (Brownlee 2007, 33). Elections with odds like a casino have been a part of Egyptian politics for d ecades. Much ruling party effort is expended channeling opposition effort into these polls ; naturally, the house always wins. Brownlees focus on Egypt and other aut horitarian systems has allowed him to compile a list of truths about nondemocratic regimes that can be used a rubric to test new regimes or as an outline to de scribe the function of an author itarian system in detail. The characteristics heavily favor his own cont ention on the primacy of institutions in durability, but they are present in each regime regardless of which keeps the regime in power. He posits first that organizational re straints prolong and expand the power of the regime. Allowing only certain groups to engage in certain activities at certain times for specific purposes makes that action more likely to produce expected outcomes. Predictable action by oppositionists can be defended against and regime interests insulated from its effect, and so opposition activities may be allowed in some cases to reduce public pressure for change without endangering the regimes hold on power. Egypts restrictions on unsanctioned politic al gatherings and extensive monitoring of opposition groups to ensure their activities are not against the national interest are examples of this type of organizational re straints (Brownlee 2007, 202). The idea that 7


elite defection is needed for opposition activism to be effective is borne out in many regimes where an elite faction co -opts some facet of the reform agenda in order to attack the ruling elite and gain a greater share of power for itself. The Egyptian case proves his point, though in reverse: the general ineff ectiveness of opposition activism in Egypt may well be a result of the lack of factional competition at the top (Brownlee 2007, 202). The third truth about authoritaria n regimes Brownlee identified is that the successful management of elite conflict facilitates the mana gement of the institutions that protect the regime. Through patronage, Mubarak eliminates most sources of elite friction, thus giving him a simpler job of managing his uppe r class than other dictators may have. Certainly keeping the nation s higher-ups from squabbling keeps them focused on the position they play in the government structure, where in many roles they all carry out the same function of regime pr otection (Brownlee 2007, 203). According to Brownlee, maintaining a strong political appa ratus allows the authoritarian regime to legalize structures and processe s that bolster their strong repressive apparatus, from security forces to censorship of media. The Emergency Law in effect in Egypt since 1981 curt ails citizens rights and cr iminalizes any action deemed harmful to the state, which allows the regime to use broad definitions of harmful to the state to justify crackdowns on all manner of political di ssent (Brownlee 2007, 203). In contrast to many theorists, Brownlee found th at pressure for democr atic change applied by foreign governments (especially the United St ates) was less effective than homegrown movements at inspiring policy reform in authoritarian stat es. The Bush Administrations 2003-04 push for democratization in the Middle East was met in Egypt by the successive constitutional reforms in 2005 and 2007 that further consolidated the power of the 8


executive vis--v is the legislative branch while appearing to expand access to the Peoples Assembly for oppositi on candidates (Brownlee 2007, 203). On the nature of the elites who cont rol the social and political space in authoritarian regimes, Brownlee contends that personal self-interests most often determine how they negotiate th e social concerns for the ge neral public. He did not find a grander purpose of the good of the people motivating the actions of the elite in resolving political, economic, or social difficulties. This is ev ident in Egypt in the refusal of most major players to respond to calls fo r reform that could improve the political position of the lower classes, not because they are opposed to political rights for citizens, but because to defy their source of patrona ge in seeking change would jeopardize the significant benefit they derive from being loyal to the regime (Brownlee 2007, 203). The threat of elite factionalization as a threat to regime durability is widely reported, and Brownlee wrote that the simple st way to avoid potential infighting between upper class figures is to focus their atte ntion on how preferable it is to be elite versus being on the periphery of the state. This distraction has the added effect of disallowing them to focus on the actual performance of the regime, which could give rise to claim-staking if a deficiency is identified. By keeping the el ites focused on the major benefits of being regime-affiliated Ins versus being Outs, President Mubarak prevents the recipients of his patronage from demanding democratic progr ess that could endanger their privilege (Brownlee 2007, 203). Brownlees description of th e various regime types in less-developed countries circa 2001 presents a clear picture of au thoritarianism worldwide, including its prevalence and the diversity of its forms. His work is strongly influenced by the 9


classification schem e put forth by Barbara Geddes in her formative work on political inquiry, Paradigms and Sandcastles: Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politics which he credits for determining the many combinations of authoritarian power that form durable a nd nondurable regimes. Brownlee draws heavily on her single-party and militarist types of di ctatorship to explain the Egyptian system, despite Geddes own designation of Egypt as a triple-hybrid regime, meaning the governing structure has characteristics of all three types of authoritarian system: personalist, militarist, and single-party (B rownlee 2007, 28). Further study into the personalist characteristics of Mubaraks ru le would make Brownlees description more complete. Geddes perspective on the triple-hybrid nature of the Egyptian political system is not that it divides its time among behaving in th e manner of each type of rule, but rather that it addresses the various f acets of rule from each of the three angles when it is most beneficial to the regime. Mubarak rules as a pe rsonalist leader in terms of controlling the pace and scope of reform, and in the design of a succession process that will extend his vision of Egypts national role (and the bene fit of his family) beyond the time of his presidency. He remains true to his military powerbase in matters of national defense, ruling as a militarist leader in the matters of defense procurement budgeting and foreign policy which maintains the salience of the ma ssive military as protector of the state despite the lack of a credible conventi onal military threat. The national economy and state bureaucracy are Mubaraks realms for the display of single-party rule, with cadres of loyal National Democratic Party member s carrying out Mubarakapproved fiscal and structural policies down to the lowest levels of society. While comfortable identifying the 10


Egyptian regim e as triple-hybrid, scholars lik e Brownlee downplay the role Mubarak has in directing the action of the military and party, though surely his nearly three-decade rule merits closer examination of how his us e of the tools of domination have ensured not just the survival of the Egyptian authoritar ian regime, but of his rule as well (Geddes 2003, 83). Geddes identified three facets of systems of governance that must be changed in order to constitute a regime transition, whic h explain her assessments of why a triplehybrid regime is so durable. She contends th at transition entails a change in the basic institutions that determine who will rule, a change in how rulers will be chosen, and a change in how basic distributive decisions will be made. The strength of a triple-hybrid regime, then, lies in its ability to effectivel y guard against any one of these changes from taking place, much less all three. With physical control over the action of electing rulers, political control over the potential candidaci es of successive leaders, and structural control over the distribution of resources to privilege the regime and demobilize the public, the Egyptian authoritarian regime is well-constructed for durability beyond President Mubaraks tenure (Geddes 2003, 9). Egypts geographical and cu ltural locations on Africa and in the Middle East, respectively, may also play a role in protecting the regime from major public movement for reform. Geddes outlined two requirements for regime transitions, namely the presence of an intolerable regime and an organized, popular support base for the overthrow of the regime. If correct, this shoul d provide (in the converse) two conditions for durability of regimes: a tolerable dictatorship and disorganized, unmotivated dissent. Egypt is a neighbor to states with even more striking records of regime cruelty and violence, closed 11


political system s, and Islamist control of governments; in comparison by many Egyptian citizens, the rule of Hosni Mubarak is certainly more tolerable than those of the leaders in neighboring countries. Even among Middle East states, Egyptians see their limited and flawed democracy as preferable to a monarc hical system with no elections, as in Saudi Arabia, or to government stru ctures controlled by a minor ity group along sectarian lines, as in Bahrain or Saddam Hu sseins Iraq (Geddes 2003, 53). Geddess study also identified five broad ca tegories of threats to authoritarian regime stability, each of which President Mubarak has already successfully countered. The first two, elite rivalry and loss of elite support, are both addressed using extensive patronage of elite personalitie s and actions to maintain elite buy-in to regime policies through increasing the power and prestige of the elite vis--vis everyone else. This is especially true during times of the third threat, economic crisis, when the maintenance of elite privilege is more difficult fiscally a nd politically, but which Mubarak has always managed to carry out. In dealing with econom ic crisis and the general public, Mubarak has used innovative foreign policies and defe nse purchases to infuse cash into Egypts largely inefficient economy, such as opening procurement talks with China on systems of little military necessity for the purpose of strengthening the trade re lationship as well. Natural and man-made disasters can challe nge an authoritarian ruler, either by placing blame for the disaster or citing deficiencies in th e coordination of relief or reconstruction. President Mubarak has e ffectively employed the massive state bureaucracy to respond as well as possible to Sinai flooding, fast-moving fires in Cairo, and frequent public transportati on accidents that usually yiel d high numbers of casualties. He also avoids public criticism of his handli ng of disasters by declar ing his intention to 12


prosecute the parties responsible for m an-made tragedies. In cases of gross negligence by a regime-affiliated businessman causing massive loss of life, as in the February 2006 Al Salam ferry disaster, Mubarak issues arrest warrants for cronies just as their Europebound flights depart. After an appropriate i nvestigation period (during which public outrage for the disaster quiets among all but th e victims families), a trial is held in the absence of the accused and acquitt als are generally the outcome. In the case of the Al Salam, in which over 1,000 people died when a grossly overloaded, poorly-maintained ferr y caught fire then sank in th e Red Sea, the ferry owner was a loyalist member of the upper house (S hura Council) of the Egyptian parliament who had been appointed by Mubarak himself. Six people were charged with various crimes that led to the disaster, but the onl y conviction issued in the 2008 trials was a $2000 fine for the captain of another ferry fo r failing to show compassion and make an attempt to rescue the Al Salams passengers. President Mubarak initially received harsh criticism for the governments delayed arri val to the accident scene and insufficient regulation of the transport industry; however, his personal pr ovision of survivor benefits to the victims families (and directive to th e ferry company owner to pay the families the maximum benefit allowed by Egyptian law) eventually muted the discontent. Widespread media coverage of his immediate travel to Hu rghada, Egypt to visit survivors and offer condolences to relatives of those lost prev ented the spread of serious anti-Mubarak sentiment among the population in areas furt her from the disaster. Geddes final challenge to authoritarian re gime preservation is the broa d category of international changes, which includes diplomatic, military, economic, or demographic shifts in the global landscape that affect the way an author itarian can exercise state power or impact 13


the cos t-benefit calculus of the likely outcomes of both domestic and foreign policy actions. Nearly immediately after taking office, Mubarak was presented the challenge of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which spurred major public protest against the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel w ithin Egypt and across the Arab world. Mubarak certainly would have had widespread popular and region al support for abrogating the treaty and reentering a state of conflict w ith Israel after their invasion of another Muslim country. His decision to suffer the public criticism and regional ostracism in maintaining the peace was both economic, as the treaty allows acce ss to massive U.S. aid, and strategic, as Israels withdrawal from th e Sinai Peninsula on ly two months before was a critical military gain that Mubarak was unwilling to jeopardize. By recalling the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, Mubarak expr essed his displeasure over the Lebanon invasion without risking the loss of any of the benefits offered by the Camp David framework (Geddes 2003, 17-19). The consistent, strong co ntrol of President Mubarak shown above supports Marina Ottaways contention that Egypt is not experiencing a transition toward democratic governance. She classifies the E gyptian system as semi-authoritarian due to its limited participative polit ical structures, but adds th at it cannot be said to be transitioning because it has made no true pr ogress toward democracy in over 20 years (Ottaway 2003, 8). It is possible that the pol itical institutions in Egypt are so under Mubaraks control (through his dominance of the ruling party and security apparatus) that even the pseudodemocratic processes Ottaway identifies are simply a faade on a strictly authoritarian regime, making her semi-authoritarian designation optimistic in itself 14


(Ottaway 20 03, 41). She correctly states that an authoritarian regime will remain in power as long as it can successfully address the myriad challenges faced by state leaders. The capability to address challenges is actually greater for nondemocratic states that their democratic counterparts because the leader s themselves can design the landscape in which challenges to the regime must be presented. Mubara k enjoys home-field advantage against any threat because all opponents are forced to work within the authoritarian channels of power to seek reform (Ottaway 2003, 42). Oppositional demands, of course, have changed over time, and authoritarian systems in the Middle East have persisted because they have been dynamic in their methods for addressing demands. King argues th at the new form of authoritarianism in the Middle East based on liberal economic po licies, ruling coalitions, controlled political pluralism, and electoral legitimation mechan isms that protect the leader may actually provide a greater level of stability and progre ss in states like Egypt than fully functional democracy could (King 2009, 4-5). If author itarian leaders make small moves toward political opening, and then use party organi zational power and patronage-based economic liberalization to reinforce their control over the process, they can advance their society without really redistri buting power (King 2009, 4). Brookers two most salient characteristics of authoritarian regimes reflect a more traditional perspective on state management under authoritarianism: freedom is restricted in favor of obedience to authority, and author ity is exercised with little restriction (Brooker2000, 22). These ideas are not contra dictory to Kings, as the processes King identified are actually methods for removing restrictions on the exercise of power and distancing the freedom to challenge authority from a position of real influence on the 15


conduct of politics. Egypt is not an exam ple of mass praetori anism, in which a societys political institutions are unable to cope with political pa rticipation by the urban lower class, but rather a case of the regime being disinclined to accommodate political involvement from the periphery of the society (Brooker 2000, 31). Brooker also offers a few reasons why authoritarian regimes ultimately end, though each can be (and has been in Egypt) mana ged in a way that strengthens the overall authoritarian control of the state. First, a decline in leader charisma can threaten a personalist rule; President Mubaraks relian ce on organizational support vice charisma in building his rule means the public is not e xpectant of great charismatic appeal from Mubarak, but instead see his diligence in quiet management of the state as evidence of his suitability to lead. Second, th e creation of rules for the exer cise of power can threaten regimes, but only if the stru ctures are not deliberately designed as favorable to the authoritarian control of proce sses or if government repressive capability is too weak to prevent enforcement of power sharing rules. Mubaraks many political measures to open political space and increase the representat ive character of Egyptian politics have actually built rules for the exercise of power that exclude all but his approved actors and token opposition (whose cast is also Mubarak-approved). Third, military regimes can be threatened by civilianization of the system usually in response to economic challenges the military is unable to address. Mubarak s early co-optation and privilege of the military leadership has allowed a great degree of civilianization to take place in many ministries of the Egyptian government wit hout compromising the pr esidential powerbase (Brooker 2000, 27). Mubaraks attention to thes e potential sources of instability during his initial regime formation period allowed him to insulate against possible threats before 16


they had the chance to m ount a serious challenge. In the same year that Mubarak took ov er the presidency in Egypt, Perlmutter identified the three tools an authoritarian leader needs to build a lasting authoritarian regime; it is almost as if he wrote Mubarak a primer on national control because Mubarak has implemented a system of domination exactly along the guidelines Perlmutter laid out. First, a single authoritarian party must control the political space. Second, a strong bureaucratic-military complex must control the public space, in terms of both services and security. Finally, there must be parall el and auxiliary stru ctures of domination, mobilization, and control, which are mani fest in Egypt by the various intelligence organizations, the co-opted local notables that run villages according to central government direction, and the unofficial cadres of patronage-seeking Nearly-Ins who rally to government causes as instructed in hopes of advancing in the authoritarian hierarchy (Brooker 2000, 34). The rubric of 13 authoritarian regime ch aracteristics presented by Baker allows the analysis of a countrys level of author itarianism using consis tent criteria and a comprehensive focus. The traits he identified are: Centralized authority and decision-making structures Presence of a control structur e to stifle dissent and maintain order; usually in the form of a widespread bureaucracy Top-down rule from leader to citize ns through the bureaucratic structure Presence of a powerful, even intrusive, bureaucracy charged with making and distributing tangible goods Construction of a civil service to represent the center down to the local level 17


Prevalence of nepotism over merit as basi s for hiring decisions in civil service Opportunities created by bureaucracy for corruption or unofficial income Resistance to change by bureaucratic struct ure; preference for official cover-up of system shortfalls over correction Presence of a civil service of unquestioned loyalty and unchallenged servitude to the center Maintenance of patron-client relationsh ip between leader and elite created by regime enhancement of elite power and privilege Poor horizontal state coordination General public distrust of civil service Bureaucratic secrecy that builds regi me cohesion through mutual suspicion (Baker 2002, 5-6) Because the focus of this research is to prove the role of President Mubarak in the durability of the Egyptian authoritarian regime, not to prove the obvious authoritarian nature of his regime, Bakers criteria will be used as a framework according to which Mubaraks influence in building the au thoritarian state will be measured. The final explanation of Egyptian authoritarian rule that greatly informed the scope of this project is the study by Steven A. Cook on the role of the military enclave in ruling, but not governing, the Egyptian syst em. Mubaraks military background might cause one to assume that the military leadership holds great decision-making power, or that Mubarak is only the mechanism of executio n of the military plan for state control. While Cooks assessments of the power shar ing relationship betw een Mubarak and the military elite may understate the unilateral pr erogative of the president to some degree, 18


his iden tification of military inte rests in society is critical to understanding the context in which Mubarak may exercise his prerogative wh ile remaining true to his first powerbase, the military. In Egypt, the military has four types of in terests: nationalist, state and political, security and foreign policy, and economic. These interests are broad because (since the last major regime change came through military coup in 1952) the responsibility of the military for the defense of the regime is a broad task, and threats to order can come from any of these sectors. The militarys interest s in nationalism are to gain and increase legitimacy through pro-military accounts of recent military history. The National Egyptian Military Museum in Cairo has an enti re hall dedicated to the contributions of Egyptian forces in protecting Yemeni unity durin g that countrys civil war, but there is no exhibit on the 1967 conflict with Israel in wh ich the Egyptian military suffered a crushing physical, psychological, and political defeat. The maintenance of a nationalist spirit in Egypt also causes the military to accept tactical compromises in order to gain tangibl e, well-publicized bene fits of m ilitary action. For example, the demilitarization of the Sina i Peninsula, legally Egyptian territory, as part of the peace agreement with Israel is a tactical loss and affront to the sovereign right of Egypt to defend its entire homeland. The m ilitary agreed to the move because it was accompanied by a complete withdrawal of Israel forces from the Peninsula, which the military could then proclaim as a great victory produced by their honorable effort in defense of the nation (Cook 2007, 26). The intere st of the military in the running of the state and structure of the political apparatu s is in maintaining the faade of political liberalization that protects the regime, whic h is the source of the militarys privileged 19


position. By enforcing restrictive laws, controlling dissent and filling many governor posts, the military disseminates and upholds the policy of the regime and prevents threatening changes in the pol itical landscape (Cook 2007, 26). Similar protective duties in the area of security and foreign policy shape the militarys interests, including the use of secret budget processes and procurement policies to maintain a force capable of respondi ng to any conventional threat and advance political objectives through military agreem ents. The maintenance of the strategic military relationship with the United States is another priority for Egypt, which may explain why the military did not protest Presid ent Mubaraks decision to retain the Camp David Accords after the Israe li invasion of Lebanon. The strengt h of the military can also be used to compensate for weaknesses in other areas, such as when Egyptian support for the Coalition in the liberati on of Kuwait yielded significant economic benefit for all of Egypt, not just the military (Cook 2007, 23). According to Cook, economic opportunity does factor into the militarys interests as well. Individual negotiations on contracts, systems, and projects are most successful when they offer personal financial gain to the military leadership, followed by those that mere ly provide benefits to the capabilities of the armed forces, and least successful when th e proposal is designed to use military effort or resources only for the good of the Egyptian public. The most effective way that President Mubarak has been able to harness the power of the military machine to advan ce Egypts economy is by increasing military leaders access to profit through military production schemes like the National Service Project Organization (NSPO). The military ventures are shielded from reform and privatization efforts, and are heralded as engines of productivity in the manufacture of 20


m ilitary and civilian goods from tanks to toasters. The heavy subsidization of the raw materials used for the production, however, offs ets any real economic benefit the efficient military production could provide (Cook 2007, 19). The complex inter-workings of the Egyptia n authoritarian regime, from its robust military to its pervasive bureaucracy, fo rm a veritable fortress through which disorganized calls for reform are not likely to break easily. This re search addresses the role of President Hosni Mubarak in firs t constructing, then managing, the Egyptian system so as to prevent meaningful changes in the distribution of power and to propagate his style of control to Egyptian leaders be yond his reign. The military events in Egypt between 1967 and 1973 greatly affected the cond uct of state affairs in Egypt; even Cook, who sees the military enclave as a strong player in the Egyptian system contends that perhaps the greatest consequence [of the milita ry events] was the institutionalization of the presidency as the undis puted actor in Egyptian poli tics (Cook 2007, 63). Proving the primacy of President Mubarak in the system since 1981 (and strong influence before as Vice President) will require on ly an honest look at the man, his perceptions of his role, and the actions he has taken to meet his objectives within that role. This study will illustrate those concepts and assess the prospects for authoritarian durability in a postMubarak scenario. 21


Putting the Authoritarian ba ck in Authoritarianism Most research into authoritarian sy stems focus either on the organization responsible for its creation (as in the military enclave or revolutionary faction) or the structures that protect the authoritarian elit e (such as processes and institutions of uneven benefit). This study will prove that the mainte nance of a strong authoritarian system is most possible through the effective use of thos e levers of power by a central leadership figure the authoritarian himself. By traci ng the spread of Hosni Mubaraks influence from the military, to the National Democratic Party, to the presidency and then throughout the range of Egyptian state policy, it will be possible to identify the individual actions and accesses that he uses to maintain his own position as head of a state that functions according to his design. First, this study will identify the traits that allowed Mubarak to influence other people and the actions that he took to position himself for advancement within his chosen avenue to power, the military. Mubaraks high modernist perspectiv e on leadership keeps him involved in the micro-level detail of his macro-level control. His involvement in the daily activities of both the military and ruling pa rty (rather than purely state interests) is due to his desire to use those bodies as instruments of his statecraft. Neither body functions autonomously, as that would negate his ability to design th e landscape of state affairs to accommodate his objectives. He maintains the loyalty of the party and military structures during this subjugation of their fr eewill by consistently his exhibiting his own loyalty to their interests; three decades of preferential policy have solidified NDP and armed forces support for the President. 22


Second, a review of Mubarak's state actions that build his powerbase and minimize challenges to his control will furthe r explain how he has remained in power. In order to build the regime-preserving system of privilege for himself and his elite supporters, Mubarak must manage public perc eptions such that they match his own assessment of his suitability for leadership. Mubaraks double method of maintaining the salience of the military without the presence of a conventional military threat through threat rhetoric and the deflection of public criticism for unpopular policies using bureaucratic scapegoats and fei gning institutional constraint s is overwhelmingly effective at maintaining public support for his rule. Even civil society organiza tions largely follow presidential guidance in terms of focus issues and methods of dissent; this is most likely due to the recognition of his ability and prerogative to eliminate their groups as a whole if they dont fit comfortably in his cust om-tailored political landscape. Exploring the ways in which Mubarak has given himself the power to control Egyptian society, and the methods by which he has shielded that control from the democratizing pressures of globalization, will provide an explanation of the durability of his authoritarian system up to now, and its pot ential for continuation in the post-Mubarak era. Economic policies and conditions that be nefit the Egyptian elite are designed by Mubarak as protections for his rule, but carry the added bonus of demobilizing the general public, which must sacrifice the time it takes to press for polit ical change to focus on survival. To balance the deactivation of the public through economic hardship, Mubarak must implement economic policy that doesnt threaten his regime but which prevents major civil unrest by the millions of Egyptian poor. M ubarak makes unilateral 23


decisions on lucrative foreign policy opportunities in order to gain infusions of cash that stifle dissent in the short-term and camouflage the long-term disadvantages created by the inefficiencies and disparities of the Egyptian economy. The pervasive security apparatus is employed by Mubarak for political gain, specifically in upholding laws that disa dvantage political opposition, allowing the conduct of elections to legitimate Mubarak s hold on power, and constricting the public space in which anti-regime or special interest groups can organize and mobilize for change. These state reactions to potential challengers form the third point of study by which this research will prove Mubarak' s singular focus on maintaining his own dominance. In addition to control of the public through overwhelming police presence and the mutual suspicion that characterizes stat es with several parallel and overlapping intelligence services, President Mubaraks prev ents popular claim-staking with the use of threat rhetoric in his domestic speeches. Through consistent messaging about the dangers facing the nation, and the sole ab ility of Mubaraks regime to protect the citizens from an inevitable and catastrophic fa te, the President re tains public support for his rule. While occasionally Mubarak will cite an external part y as an existential th reat to the Egyptian way of life, his most intense accusations are reserved for the Islamist opposition in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood. Regime handling of th e challenge of political Islam is that of staunch opposition, as Mubarak seeks to minimize the popularity of the Brotherhood gained through widespread social welfar e programs that exceed the governments capacity to provide for the citizens in some of Egypts poorest areas. Mubaraks successful management of Egypt s relationship with the United States 24


is another indicator of his regim es durability. Frequent statements on the existence and growth of democratic processes in Egypt beli e the continuing authorita rian nature of the Egyptian system, but are issued by Presid ent Mubarak as a public nod to the United States democratization objectives in the Midd le East. U.S. policymakers are not unaware of Mubaraks commitment to retaining his authoritarian control, and his predictable purposes make him a more productive partner in addressing issues of mutual concern. In some cases, Mubaraks style of leadership is necessary to address U. S. interests in the region, such as the containment of pote ntially dangerous political Islam. The consistency with which Mubarak has exercised control of multiple levers of power, addressed intern al threats, and responded to exte rnal pressures show that his position in the Egyptian authoritari an system is one of active direction. He determined his path to the highest authority as a young man, and took advantage of every opportunity to advance his influence throughout his military and political careers. He is not a figurehead atop the grinding bureaucracy of the state prot ected by a powerful military; this research will prove that his coherent construction a nd governance of those instruments of power have allowed his steady control of the larger society of Egypt for nearly thirty years. 25


Mubaraks Ascent and Consolidation In any work stressing the influence of one man on the political realities of an entire state, careful attenti on must be paid to the char acter of the man, including his origins, his formative experiences, and his activities after reaching the age of volition. Many men have possessed intelligence and leadership qualities to equal President Mubaraks, but his drive to lead the count ry and management skill to protect his own power have been unmatched. His understand ing of Egyptian atmospherics in the 1952 timeframe led to his decision to use his career in the military as the starting point for his ascent to the presidency. The operational successes Mubarak led during his military career positioned him well for political advanc ement opportunities and shielded him from public criticism, as his primary goal of na tional defense was supported by all Egyptians. The Man, the Myth, the Legend Born in 1928 in the small village of Ka fr el-Maselha, in Menoufiya governorate between Cairo and Alexandria, Muhammad Ho sni Said Mubarak did not come from a family of privilege, but focused on attaining educational success at every opportunity. As an early teenager during World War II, Mubara k was certainly aware of the role of the military in national defense, as Egypt became the stage for several major battles between British, French, American, and German forces. Mubarak attended the Egyptian Military Academy and then the Egyptian Air Force Academy, earning bachelors degrees in both military and aviation sciences in 1950 at the age of 22. He was commissioned as a pi lot in the Egyptian Air Force the same year, 26


and served nine years as a fi ghter pilot and then instructor at the Air Force Academ y. It was during his time as a fighter pilot that the Free Officers seized control of the Egyptian government from the monarchy, and his positi on in the military allowed his career to progress without interruption throughout the revolutionary period. By 1959, President Nassers warming relations with Moscow during the Cold War provided Mubarak the opportunity to attend two years of bomber pilot training in the Soviet Union, which allowed him to command units of various missi on types in the Egypt Air Force until after the 1967 Arab war with Israel. The painful defeat of Arab forces in June 1967 spurred several high-level personnel shifts in the E gyptian military, and Mubarak was promoted to the commandership of the Air Force Academy in November 1967, a traditional pipeline position to the Egyptian Air Force Chief of St aff. Mubarak assumed the Chief of Staff position only two years later, and by 1972 had been appointed the Commander of the Egyptian Air Force and Deputy Minister of Defense. This dual access to operational forces and defense policymaking was the firs t major step in Mubaraks national decisionmaking, and he put the paired responsibili ties to good use in forging his own support base. In less than two years, Mubarak de signed, operationalized, and executed the air operations of the 1973 October (or Yom Kippur) War that marked the only military success against Israeli forces by any Arab state up to that time. The initial gains made by Egyptian Air Force assets allowed the breach of the Bar-Lev line and eventually resulted in the negotiated return of the Israeli-occ upied Sinai Peninsula to Egyptian control. The military benefits of Mubaraks plans were large: the recovery of territory and the bolstering of the Egyptian militarys e go, which had been battered by the 1967 defeat. 27


The political effect of Mubaraks operat ional success was the renewal of Egyptian nationalism as a public and official priority. In the afterglow of the admittedly limited victory, the military and political elite recogn ized the contribution of Mubarak in healing the nations wounds, and his formal military career ended in 1975 w ith his appointment as Vice President of Egypt by Anwar Sadat. Mubaraks first steps to authoritarian control of state institutions were taken during his six years as Vice President. He wa s intimately involved in the running of the Arab Socialist Union, which was the ruling party under which Sadat had been building institutions for party control of state structures. Mubarak be came the vice chairman of the party when it renamed itself the National Democratic Party (NDP) in 1978, which gave him control over the various Egyptian intelligence services and the responsibility for the foreign policy of Egypt concerning the Middle East. Mubarak conducted several diplomatic visits worldwide in the run-up to the 1979 signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, but allowed public criticism of the Camp David Accords to fall squarely on the shoulders of then-President Sadat. Mubaraks public position distancing himself from the signing of the trea ty laid the foundation for the eventu al rapprochement of Egypt with the Arab states, who broke diplomatic re lations with the Egyptian regime over the perceived sacrifice of Pale stinian interests and Arab unity the treaty entailed. The peace with Israel sparked domestic discontent as well, and within two years of the treaty, an Islamic extremist from within the ranks of the military assassinated President Sadat, allegedly for his betrayal of the Palestinian cause. Mubarak was lightly wounded in the attack, and used the murder of the head of state as proof that Egypt needed a strong leader in charge to mainta in order and development; he had a candidate 28


in m ind when he made this appeal. Mubarak assumed the chairmanship of the National Democratic party following Sadats death, and was quickly elected President as well. His determination for professional advancement and skillful handling of crises had elevated him to the top of the Egyptian power structur e, but to maintain that position, Mubarak knew he needed to continue the expansion of his influence while reshaping the existing power structure to address his concerns and protect his dominance. The unyielding desire to control the hi ghest levels of a society may seem unattractive in a potential leader, but Mubarak operates from a high modernist perspective in which he believes that he po ssesses specialized skill s for leadership, and that the group of associates th at he directs in the running of the state form the vanguard of society. This highest group of leaders employs Western technologies and organizational capacity to speed the development of the country in terms of industrialization and production. Due to the limited presence of specialized leadership skills in society at large, the primary responsibility of th e high modernist clique is to protect its own influence rather than to advance the count ry. Mubarak believes his domina nce is in the best interest of the state, and the lack of a serious challenger in nearly three decades has reinforced that idea among ruler an d ruled (Cook 2007, 15). The dominance of the Mubara k authoritarian regime is heavily insured by the unquestioned and unquestioning loyalty of the mili tary to the President. He perpetuates this loyalty through the maintenance of a system of privilege for m ilitary leadership, and some researchers have noted that military privilege could create an imbalance that then inspires claim-staking by counter-elites (Cook 2007, 74). While most of the elites in the Egyptian system are of a military backgr ound, Mubarak must employ other levers of 29


power or patronage to either control or coopt po tential challengers. If his ability to maintain support among the military elite is any gauge, the civilian elites are likely to follow suit; the rewards for loyalty serve to deactivate the military from independent political activity, and the civilian elites may r eact the same way to the benefits of state patronage. As Cook says of the military elite, The officers have grown comfortable with arrangements in which one of their own remains the head of state and a range of pseudodemocratic institutions and representative stru ctures insulate them from politics (Cook 2007, 77). Considering the largely unchallenged ab ility of Mubarak and the military to control the public space in Egypt, it is inte resting to consider why they bothered to continue and even expand the faade of democr atic governance at all. The answer lies in their desire for durable control; political refor ms were instituted to enshrine the benefits and dominance of the elite in law, and small, contradictory, or even blatantly imbalanced reform measures provide some top cover for th e authoritarian regime from the pressure of Western democratizatio n drives (Cook 2007, 74). In order to implement pseudo-reforms, Mubarak depends on the dominance of the ruling NDP in politics and the adherence of the NDP to his objectives. Using liberal application of patronage ensures party loyalt y similar to the militarys, and effective use of the security apparatus during electi on periods has maintained the NDP-heavy legislative branch on which Mubaraks free dom of action depends. Mubaraks personalist rule within this system of mutually reinfo rcing dominance was built on his appropriation of party power during his regime formation period, not on a wave of public support for his charismatic leadership. There is no account of Mubaraks gaining widespread popular 30


adm iration beyond gratitude for his war success in the years leading up to his presidency. He simply assumed control of the NDP structure and used its influence down to the lowest levels to inform the public of thei r support for the Mubarak regime (Brooker 2000, 129). Because Mubarak was aware that politic s is by nature a contentious field, he expanded the political structures in Egypt to cover as many issues as possible, thereby forcing reform efforts into ch annels already under the control of the regime. Building the playing field for political di ssent allows Mubarak perpetua l home-field advantage in addressing opposition and civil societ y demands for change (Cook 2007, 76). Jamal stated in his work on Egyptian politics that The Egyptian regime can manipulate the political and so cial atmosphere in Egypt at will, and President Mubarak provides the focus and preferred methods for the use of the regimes influence (Jamal 2007, 118). The wide use of executive power and imposition of reform measures that actually constrict public space for political action counter Derek Hopwoods assessment of Mubarak as a democrat who genuinely seeks wider democratic governance in Egypt; his actions show a commitment to authorit arian rule that his speeches may deny (King 2009, 103). Mubarak gained power as the head of the October Generation, and has structured his power to prolong his rule. The following sections address how Mubarak built his machine of dominance and how he o ils it to keep it running in an everchanging global arena and in the face of various domestic challenges. 31


Building the Machine Mubarak inherited a large party structure and capable military when he took power after Sadats assassinati on, but his political perspectives on leadership and national goals did not seamlessly align with Sadats, so some changes to th e governing institutions were necessary. The Egyptian constitution adopted in 1956 and the laws enacted at the same time contained language that gave th e appearance of a liberal democratic system. These foundational documents and newer laws have been interpreted by President Mubarak in ways that bolster his own pow er, degrade opposition, and maintain national stability at all costs (Cook 2007, 65). The most significant of the legal measures Mubarak uses to control Egyptian society is the Emerge ncy Law, which has been in force in Egypt nearly continuously since 1958. The law had be en repealed only five months before Sadats assassination, and Mubaraks immediate response to the killi ng was to reinstitute the state of emergency. The Emergency Law, as applied in 1981, a llowed the censorship and closure of press outlets in order to cont rol the information flow to the public on any disturbances. It also prohibited workers strikes as potential sources of instability, and required Ministry of Interior approval prio r to any meetings of political groups, public rallies, or protests on any topic. To deal with public safety co ncerns or threats to national security, the Emergency Law established a pa rallel judicial system outside the normal channels of oversight, and allowed for the trial of civilians in special military tribunals to reduce public scrutiny of the cas es and circumvent Justine Mi nistry due process controls (Cook 2007, 71). The perpetual st ate of emergency since 1981 has ultimately reduced judicial power in favor of the executive, a nd Mubarak has capitalized on the shift to claim the supremacy of the rule of law while fr eely repressing any challenges to the political 32


security (Ottaway 2003, 44-45). The practical application of the Em ergency Law has involved mostly suppression of political di ssent and limiting the act ivities of the Muslim Brotherhood. In order to create public support for his political stances, President Mubarak declared his full support for Egyptian democr acy almost immediately upon taking office (Pratt 2007, 74). Pointing to the instituti on of multiparty elections during his vice presidency, in which the NDP predecessor part y, the Arab Socialist Union, vied for seats against Wafd, Tagammu, Ahrar, and soci alist Labor Party candidates, Mubarak trumpeted his history of support for polit ical pluralism (Pratt 2007, 71-72). These statements on democracy were muted, however, by his maintenance of the robust presidential powers accumulated under Sadat. Mubarak retains the authority to dissolve the Peoples Assembly, decree laws, declare a state of emergency, command the armed forces, and be re-elected to an unlimited nu mber of six-year terms as president. The removal of presidential term limits in 1980 came just two years before President Sadat would have had to leave office. Mubarak a dopted Sadats method of legislating his own dominance by continuing the unlimited presid ential terms and moving to buttress ruling party power through legal c onstraints on potential chal lenger parties (Cook 2007, 72). The National Democratic Party authored the law in 1978 (the same year Mubarak became its vice chairman) that allowed its own formation as the ruling party of Egypt and established guidelines for the formation of other parties that heavily discouraged opposition organization. First, the law required th at all parties in Egypt adhere to five doctrinal principles in their platforms: na tional unity, the alliance of working people, social peace, democratic socialism, and worker s rights. Most potenti al parties of the day 33


(with the obvious exception of the Islam ists, who sought shar ia rule) fully supported the five principles, but were held up by the s econd half of the 1978 law, which forbade the licensing of parties too si milar to an existing party (Cook 2007, 69). The seemingly contradictory requirements of adherence to a ce ntral platform and the differentiation from existing parties gave the NDP nearly complete freedom within legal bounds to rule on the suitability of a particular party for sanctioning into Egypts political process. The empowerment of the Political Parties Committee to manage the party registrations process provided another venue for NDP dominance, as NDP loyalists hold six of the nine seats on the committee. The body also holds the power to shut down any party for various offenses to electoral or political action laws, and can even refer serious violators for prosecution in Egyptian courts (Cook 2007, 71). This power was still in use as recently as 2004, as the charging, tria l, and incarceration of the Al Ghad Partys head (and 2005 presidential hopeful) Ayman No ur showed. Nour was sentenced to five years in prison for alleged forgery of si gnatures on his party formation petition. Measures such as control of media c ontent to feature only NDP candidates campaign materials and allowing the use of state funds for cam paign activities of regime loyalists are two ways in the NDP counter s the efforts of the political opposition. Additionally, regime-affiliated figures carry out assaults on the democratic process itself through ballot stuffing, tampering with voter registration rolls, a nnouncing false results according to the desire of the regime, and th e use of the state se curity apparatus to intimidate opposition candidates and their suppor ters (Pratt 2007, 105). The disregard for government accountability by the NDP bolster s the assessment that the party gains support through patronage and voter intimidation, not as a result of a popular platform or 34


positiv e performance in managing the state (Ottaway 2003, 49). There are a number of areas in which Mubarak has appeared to cede some control over Egyptian life, however in practice the be havior of the partie s in these cases of limited freedom is still strictly monitored for adherence to Mubaraks interests. Official statements herald the freedom of the Egyptia n press when coverage reflects positively on the regime, but legal constraints on the medi a prohibit the dissemination of false or defamatory information, or any informati on that could harm the national economy or national interest. National inte rests are broadly defined as Mubaraks interests, and critical information about the ruling elite is automatically declared false and defamatory, so any press publication or broadcast of whic h the regime does not approve is illegal. Press violations carry penalties of heavy fines and even incarceration if the alleged offense is deemed harmful enough (Cook 2007, 71). In view of this, the official praise for Egyptian press freedoms rings as hollow as Mubaraks pronouncements on the effectiveness of the countrys legislature. The Peoples Assembly, which is the lower house of the parliamentary struct ure, is allowed purview only over interests that apply to the bourgeois constituencies of the members. Even with its heavy NDP majority, the Assembly is relegated to managing only portfol ios in which state intervention is unlikely to be needed to maintain stability, such as agriculture, youth, and local administration (Cook 2007, 75). Matters of internal security, external defense, major economic policy shifts, and foreign policy are handled by Mubarak himself, with some input from the military and NDP leadership. Mubaraks delay in implementing the restructuring guidelines of the Interna tional Monetary Fund (IMF) in the late 1980s, despite parliamentary approval for the measures, was li kely caused by fear of widespread rioting 35


sim ilar to what followed the 1977 attempt to remove consumer subsidies on food staples. His later decision to join the U.S.-led coal ition in liberating Kuwa it was based solely on the economic benefits that could be gained from it (which cushi oned the impact of the IMF restructuring), and he entered the coalition without consulting the Peoples Assembly (Pratt 2007, 74). Mubaraks handling of political Islam in the first years of his rule was a major factor in strengthening his posit ion at the top of Egyptian polit ics. In the first few months after taking office, Mubarak released from prison hundreds of political dissidents and Islamists who had been detained under Sada t. Additionally, he allowed the Muslim Brotherhood, though still techni cally a banned organization in Egypt, to participate politically in the prof essional syndicates and at the national level as part of a coalition with the Wafd party. These actions were hailed as measures to open the political process to all Egyptians, but were in reality Mubara ks first steps in defining the boundaries for MB activities (Pratt 2007, 94). Mubarak inform ally assigned the MB leadership at the time with the task of moderating Egyptian Islam, including reining in the extreme and violent factions who could pose a threat to stability. The Brotherhood cheerfully complied with the tasking, as for the first time the organization had a sphere of influence in which to operate with the support of the ruling regime (Cook 2007, 78). Knowing that the MB would continue to try to increase its support in areas besides moderation of Islam, Mubarak bolstered the institution of Al Azhar (both the mosque and university) to balance the Islamist messaging of the Brothe rhood. By designating Al Azhar as the seat of Islamic jurisprudence and knowledge for Egypt, Mubarak reduced the appeal of the MBs claims of divine calling to rule Egypt according to sharia (Pratt 2007, 107). 36


Having his roots in the Egyptian Armed Forces, President Mubarak used his military successes and speedy ascent to a commanding military leadership position to establish himself as the protector and leader of the Egyptian military enclave. Citing the historical leadership role of the military in Egypt since the 1952 revolution and his appointment to the vice presidency in 1975, Mubarak convinced service members and citizens alike that he was the most suitable candidate for head of state. Taking office at a time when the major conventional military thre at to the country had been neutralized by the Camp David Accords, Mubarak designed a process to keep the military salient in society and loyal to his rule: military produc tion. Through various organizations, such as the National Service Project Organiza tion and the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Mubarak harnessed the effort of the armed forces to manufacture and distribute consumer goods throughout the country. This gave the military an important task to accomplish, and acclimated the citizen ry to the role of the military in the production of everyday items from canned goods to scent plants. The level of state control of the economy when an arm of the government is the main producer in it is intense, which allowed Mubarak to maintain fiscally detrimental subsidies and use the opacity of the economy to hide gross ineffici encies within the military production system (Hidalgo 1994, 21) Making true changes to th e economic system in Egypt would have challenged Mubaraks power, not bolstered it, so he simply ignored the negative effects of the import-substitution industrialization model on Egypts economy during his regime formation. Camp David Accord payouts and oi l revenue were substituted for sound fiscal policy, allowing the regime to postpone unpopul ar IMF restructuring that could have sparked civil unrest reminiscent of the 1977 Bread Riots (Cowell 1989). 37


President Mubarak carried out many le gal actions during his regime formation period to strengthen his own pow er, particularly in the area of legalizing his own partys dominance and preventing access to politic s for challengers. This foundation of nondemocratic governance has withstood nearly three decades of international changes, domestic challenges, and globalization-driven pressures for political pluralism. The Mubarak machine has not remained static in th e face of change, but has used a process of constant motion without mobility to appear to respond to democratizing pressure while always reinforcing Mubaraks own control. Oiling the Machine Mubarak oils the m achine of his authorit arian regime and protective bureaucracy through regular, incremental, well-publicized legislative actions and unilateral decisions that meet public demands for progress while having little impact on the state of Egyptian politics as a whole. These small steps ar e carried out only af ter the NDP Policies Secretariat has ensured their inability to challenge the current regime, and all occur within a prescribed range of acceptable policy positions. Though the policy pendulum may move different directions at different times in order to respond to salient events and issues of the day, the policies implemented will never deviate from Mubaraks interests far enough to disrupt the natural swing of his control. The primary guarantor of Mubaraks con tinued dominance is the ability to quell opposition and prevent popular mobilization th rough the renewal of the Emergency Law since 1981 (Pratt 2007, 93). This legal basis for the deactivation of the public in politics creates a permissive environment for Mubarak s personalist control of the state. Brooker 38


posits that the Egyptian governm ent operates in an overlapping, gray area where flawed democracy or semi-democracy verges on the semi-dictatorship that is produced by the use of semi-competitive elections to disguise a dictatorship (Brooker 2000, 2). While the identification of the Egyptian el ections as a disguise for dict atorship is accurate, Brooker overstates the competitiveness and democratic natu re of the electoral ex ercise in Egypt in labeling either as semi competitive or democratic. The Egyptian polls are by design noncompetitive, as true competition would allow the possibility of reduced NDP dominance. The allowance of non-NDP candidate s to participate in elections and even win seats in the Peoples Assembly happens at the discretion of the regime, which reserves the right to simply disallow any candidate from taking office if it pleases. The presence of opposition members in elected bodies are allowed by the regime as a bulwark against international criticism, not in respons e to voter input. This lack of competition is linked to the lack of democratic principles behind the Egyptian elections as well. If the regime can override election of a winning ca ndidate according to its interests, the responsiveness of the Egyptia n government to voter desires, and its ability to be representative of them, is minimal. Calli ng a regime semi-democratic to avoid the sensitivities that spring from labeling one a dictatorship is an action unsupported by theory. Either a government is accountable to its citizens in the conduct of representative politics according to citizen preferences, or it isnt; Mubaraks machine is not. Ensuring the overwhelming dominance of the National Democratic Party is the main political avenue by which Mubarak protects his personal control of Egypts democracy, and thus society as a whole. King identified three main actions that Mubarak took in the first several years as chai rman of the party to guarantee its primacy 39


for the long haul. Firs t, the party shifted its main constituency from its traditional common worker powerbase to th e business elite. This serv ed both to supply the NDP with loyal followers of means and the mutually reinforcing strength of the party structure and the elite supporters allowe d the NDP to marginalize th e Wafd, its greatest challenger in the 1980s, and to deactivate common Egyptians in the political s ector. The shifting of politics to being a rich mans game helped en sure the continued leadership of the NDP in a landscape without challenge from Egypt s burgeoning lower classes (King 2009, 93). Second, the NDP prevented the formation of a secular party that could advocate for the interests of the working class. Without a true labor-oriented party, the NDP is free to dispense just enough social and economic be nefit to the peasant masses to prove that they are the only party who can provide for the needs of the people, a policy which has consistently earned them the working mans vote (King 2009, 93). Finally, the NDP protects against ch allenges from without by preventing fragmentation from within. This is not to sa y there are not divergent interests within the party; there are, but the NDP leaders have proven adept at managing the various demands of party members in order to remain a solid, unified front. The strongest example of this skill is the partys handling of the challenge to the stat us quo brought by Gamal Mubarak in the late 90s as the head of the brea kaway Future Party. The Old Guard who had supported Mubarak since 1981 (and who Mubara k had supported through patronage for the same period) was faced with a challenge to its way of doing things for the first time, and by the son of the president. Not know ing to what degree President Mubarak supported the demands of the Future Party, and fearful of losing access to the benefits of rule, the Old Guard made serious concessions to the Future Party in order to prevent a 40


split of the NDP. This is a serious strength of the NDP as concerns its durability; the organization is so committed to the continuity of its rule th at it can alter its own goals and be dynamic in its positions on any topic in order to main tain the cohesion of the group (King 2009, 94). It should be noted that not ev ery challenge to the NDP order is likely to meet with such conciliatory behavior from th e leadership. Clearly the role of President Mubarak as the father of the Future Partys leader cause d enough uncertainty among the Old Guard over the advisability of countering the Future Pa rty that acceding to Gamals demands was the option with the smallest political risk. The unity of the NDP members allows th e party to act in concert to achieve political objectives, foremost of which is s ecuring its own control of the access to power in Egypt. The overwhelming majority of the NDP in all political structures in Egypt allows the party to legislate be nefits for itself. Preferential access to media, state funding for party business, and access to sources of unofficial income (a euphemism for fraud, graft, and corruption) are just a few of the NDPs rewards for continued support for Mubarak. This imbalanced allo cation of state benefits simu ltaneously limits opposition effectiveness and recruitment and reduces th e legislative process to a mechanism for NDP control (Cook 2007, 70). NDP-sponsored changes to Egyptian electora l laws have also heavily advantaged the ruling party, thus ensuring Mubaraks freedom of action in policymaking through legislation. Mubaraks political machine frequen tly passes legislation that is designed to look like a political opening but is in fact a limiting factor to part icipation. Amendments to the political par ties law in 2005 required 1,000 signatures on a petition in order for a 41


party to apply for sanctioning by the politica l parties committee. The move was hailed as ensuring the representative nature of any party seeking registration by making sure it had a large enough number of popular supporters but in reality the measure closed the channels of political power to smaller par ties. By the time a group became influential enough to garner the required signatures, its activities were visibl e enough to allow the regime to assess the new partys potential to challenge the status quo and neutralize the newcomer if necessary (Cook 2007, 70). Much NDP energy is put into controlling opposition parties, and the legal bases for many state actions agains t opposition groups allow the ru ling party wide berth in controlling the activities of its opponents. Through legal permissions to shut down organizations that threaten Egypts internal stability, the Political Parties Committee can halt the activity of any group that speaks agai nst the regime or causes disturbances. In 2000, the committee shut down the Labor Party in retaliation for the groups sponsorship of public protests against the publication of a novel that had passed the government censorship review but which the Labor Party leaders found objectionable (Dunn 2000). The protest activity and the negative reflection on the regime for approving the books publication during an election y ear was more than enough to make the Political Parties Committee eject the Labor Party from Egypts political playing field (Pratt 2007, 109). The management of the political process at the lowest levels is accomplished through temporary infusions of funds to peasants across Egypt in the period immediately preceding elections. The elections take place while the memory of the NDP provision of an improved standard of living is still fresh, so the NDP receives the support of the lower classes despite their spotty performance record at implem enting policies to benefit the 42


peasants. The m ethods used to raise the funds that are disbursed to encourage pro-NDP voting are not transparent, and are generally assessed to be fiscally irresponsible given the sheer number of Egyp tian poor who receive the pa tronage (King 2009, 95). The physical provision of funds and food assistance to the state-estimated 63 million citizens needing aid requires the logist ical support of local notables who can carry out distributive functions on the NDPs behalf. This logistical support is less likely to be motivated strictly by ideological support fo r the ruling party, rath er requiring instead another layer of patronage to co-opt local leaders into ensuring the pro-NDP vote of their villages peasants (King 2009, 96). In some areas, the co-optation of businessmen to become party loyalists allows the use of the employer-employee relationship as yet another tool for encouraging political support for Mubaraks party. Both incentives, such as a free day off work, and disi ncentives, such as the threat of withholding benefits, are used to encourage employees to vote according to the wishes of their employer (King 2009, 95). Beginning from these grassroots actions to control the conduct of Egyptian politics, Mubarak takes numerous actions to protect Egyptian democracy according to his interests. The Mubarak regime frequently touts its ongoing pro cess of liberalization, which in practice involves the alternating expansion and contraction of political space. This process of control is perpetually dynamic, but immobile; constant motion on liberalizing actions without moving the center of politics toward freer access and more accountable governance is not a liberalizing force at al l (Kaye et al 2008, 38). The colloquialism two steps forward, one step back is even too progress-oriented to describe the movement of the Egyptian polity toward democracy. Mubaraks 43


authoritarian ism is so entrenched that challe ngers take two steps forward, are forced to take two steps back, and are then fined or ja iled for having taken forward steps in the first place. Tracing the representation of opposition figures in the lower house of the Egyptian parliament, the Peoples Assembly shows the widening and narrowing of the political space under Mubarak. Multiparty elec tions were instituted in 1977; the next round of polling was postponed following the assassination of Sadat and did not occur until 1984. The number of opposition figures in th e Assembly has varied widely since then, from 6 to 121 seats, but this represents variance within no more than a 26 percent opposition contingent. Even during the periods of wider politi cal access for non-NDP candidates, the dominance of the ruling party has never been threatened, proving that the legal measures taken to ensure the representative nature of Egyptian politics were really designed to protect the Mubarak regime (Ottaway 2003, 43-44). The institution of a party list system in 1984 yielded a more pluralistic body th an the 1977 Assembly had been, and the adoption of a mixed system of proportional and individual races al lowed even more nonNDP hopefuls to win seats in 1987. At the he ight of this phase of liberalization, opposition candidates held 93 of 448 seats, or nearly 21%. While this opening is staggering for the authoritarian context in wh ich it occurred, the overall control of the ruling party was not challenged, and the re gime halted further gains by the opposition with a package of laws touted as easi ng candidacies for the 1990 elections, but which really legalized gerrymandering to th e benefit of the NDP (Brownlee 2007, 125). The electoral law changes of 1990 were recognized by the opposition as legal 44


moves to reassert regim e control over the Peoples Assembl y, and boycotted the elections en masse. At the end of the day, only 6 opposition figures won seats in the body, and the regime cast the boycotting oppositionists as unpatriotic. The boycott had not produced positive results for the opposition groups, reducing their voice in politics and degrading their image among the relatively politically unsophi sticated Egyptian voters (Brownlee 2007, 126). The 1995 polls were no more oppositionfriendly, with widespread voting irregularities spurring violence in many governorates that left 36 dead and over 400 injured (Brownlee 2007, 126). With the state of electoral politics in Egypt in general disarray, the High Constitutional Court (HCC) stepped in after 1995 to assess and solve the problems of the legislative branch in the conduct of popular elections. The HCC was more aligned with the executive than the judicial branch of government, and its challenges to the electoral status quo were made possible by a shift of power from the legislature to the executive soon after the in stitution of multiparty elections (Pratt 2007, 95). In 2000, the HCC issued a decision that the balloting for the 1995 Peoples Assembly had been mismanaged and dissolved the Assembly in favor of new elections. This action was praised as a positive indicato r of judicial independe nce by domestic and international reform groups. The five-year de lay in issuing the decision, however, means the dissolution only ended the parliamentary term a few months early, so it is unlikely the move had any real impact on either the composition or the function of the body (Cook 2007, 76). The main liberalizing effect of the moti on was to set the stage for another round of political opening in the 2000 elections. The first legally sa nctioned judicial supervision 45


of Egyptian elections too k place in 2000, but wa s restricted to mon itoring activity inside polling places. Blatant, sometimes violent, voter harassment just outside polling places ensured the electoral success of the NDP, though the oppos ition did win 66 seats in the Assembly for a 15% total presence (Brownlee 2007, 135). The 2000 elections were conducted in three st ages due to a shortage of judicial supervisors needed to carryout nationw ide polling on the same day. The 2005 parliamentary elections were similarly thr ee-phased, which allowed the regime to gauge the success of opposition candidates in the fi rst round and determine the level of state interference that would be needed in s ubsequent rounds to maintain the NDPs overwhelming majority in the Assembly. In a shock to the Mubarak regime, the Muslim Brotherhood gained 34 seats in the firs t round of the 2005 elections, making harsh government control of the polls in the second and third rounds necessary. In the end, the Muslim Brotherhood ended up with 88 seats, and other oppositionists 33, creating a record-breaking 26% opposition pres ence in the Peoples Assembly. During the expansion and contraction of political space, creation and amendment of various electoral laws, and 25 years of less-than-transparent polling, several themes have characterized Egypts election lands cape since 1984. First, no party or group of parties has been able to challenge the Nati onal Democratic Party in representation or legislation. The support of the NDP supermajorit y is required for the passage of any legal measure, so Mubaraks control of the party allows control of all laws as well. Second, the Muslim Brotherhood has become the str ongest opposition group, not because of a popular political platform or widespread ideo logical support, but due to its provision of social welfare benefits and programs that appeal to the peasants in areas that are out of 46


the reach of the governm ent services struct ure. Third, the regime has been able to maintain control even during periods of po litical opening through the effective extension of NDP patronage and resources to vote rs (King 2009, 93). The importance of the provision of benefits to citizen s to ensure support cannot be ov erstated, as it is the main guarantor of continued NDP dominance. Given the prominence of fina ncial incentives in the maintenance of the Mubarak regime, it is important to examine the govern ments handling of the economy before and since 1981 to understand how the provision of incentives has been made possible and assess the long-term viability of the patrona ge system. Under Nasser, the Egyptian people sacrificed democratic rights for the imp roved living conditions brought about by the institution of an import-substitution indus trialization economic model. The immediate benefits allowed the government time to cons olidate Nassers authoritarian control, so that once the negative repercussions of impor t-substitution were revealed the people had little room to demand change (Pratt 2007, 57). The fiscal crisis, trade deficits, ine fficiencies of produc tion, and regional and sectional inequalities brought about by im port-substitution made economic liberalization necessary, giving President Sadat something to fix upon taking office. (Pratt 2007, 61). Because the economic liberaliza tion policies needed to correc t the inherent problems of the import-substitution system can be harsh for citizens, especially the poorest ones, Sadat did not announce his infitah, or openi ng, policies until after the successes of the 1973 was had increased his popularity. The public support for the president softened the blow of his liberalizing changes, and he astu tely began looking for a more permanent fix to Egypts fiscal challenges that did not re ly on his personal popul arity or the conduct of 47


interstate warfare. It is ve ry likely that econom ic motivatio ns were part of what brought Sadat to Camp David in 1978, where talks led to the conclusion of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in 1979 that yielded hefty financia l benefits from the United States to both signatory countries (Pratt 2007, 65). Mubarak learned from the delaying and t op-cover methods of Nasser and Sadat, and applied aspects of both in the implem entation of his economic vision for Egypt, which rested on the privatiza tion of most of the economic functions of the state. As mentioned previously, Mubarak delayed the structural reforms required by the IMF, including privatization measures, until his pa rticipation in the U.S.-led coalition to liberate Kuwait earned Egypt $24 billion in cash and debt forgiveness. The provision of 35,000 troops to help eject Iraqi forces fr om Kuwait was a political decision with economic implications, much like Sadat made at Camp David. The bounty of Gulf War cooperation allowed priv atization to take place without serious challenge to Mubaraks rule, but the process was by no means a smoot h one for the majority of the population (King 2009, 121). By declaring his support for the wellbeing of the working man immediately upon taking office, Mubarak distanced himself from what would be painful changes of the economic structure under privatization. This distance gave Mubarak room to express solidarity with the working class against th e policies of The Ma n who was hurting the workers standards of living by privatizing, despite the fact that Mubarak was, in fact, The Man himself (King 2009, 99). Remaining true to his authoritarian natu re, Mubarak implemented privatization in his own style, namely one that would protect his own dominance, ensure loyalty from his 48


powerbase, and present enough be nefit to the people to m aintain order. Accordingly, privatization in Egypt consisted of a shift from state-ow ned monopolies to private ones owned by Mubaraks cronies. Loyalist bureaucrats sold state firms to their businessmen friends at heavily discounted pr ices in order to receive a cut of the firms profit after the sale. This led to extremely smaller inflows of revenue from the privatization sales than had been forecast, and the use of the funds received to invest in job creation for the working class (as Mubarak had initially pr omised), never materialized (King 2009, 114). It is believed that the presidents family is intimately involved in various forms of corruption and graft through its strong ties to the businessmen who own the firms that were previously part of the state economy. Presidential sons Gamal and Alaa maintain close relationships with the ow ners of most major businesse s, and allegedly manage the acquisition of state firms by close friends of the president at below-market prices and using loans from the state bank with favor able terms and which require no collateral (King 2009, 116). Each of these allegations, if true, signal a deliberate disregard by President Mubarak of the negative outcom es of corrupt economic management. The scope of this research does not include normative judgments on the behaviors of Egypts authoritarian leader, but seeks to prove that his influence on th e affairs of the state is so strong as to prevent meaningf ul challenge to his rule. The general instability caused by the priv atization drive in th e 1990s is a perfect example of how Mubarak maintained or der during a time of unrest through the application of force by his pervasive secur ity apparatus. Beginning with widespread strikes by workers in 1991 and continuing throughout the decade, privatization and subsequent land redistribution measures brought peasants to the streets in unprecedented 49


num bers. Strikes were made il legal, but have occurred sporad ically in times of severe economic stress (King 2009, 97). In all cases, security organizations quickly controlled all such protests, demonstrations, and rallies, and prevented meetings of resistance groups by force (King 2009, 100). To prevent press repor ting of security appa ratus actions from reflecting badly on the regime, Mubarak disallowed reporting on peasant uprisings against land redistributions that increased tenant poverty. Citing a desire to prevent widening violence and protect people and pr operty, Mubarak banned media coverage of the opposition activities that would necessari ly have shown his forces heavy-handed responses (King 2009, 99-100). In addition to the stick method of repressi on of workers groups to prevent strikes and protests, Mubarak awards periodic carro ts to the economically disenfranchised to limit complaints. The sales of state-owned ente rprises, though not as profitable as they should be due to corruption, do provide temporar y infusions of cash that Mubarak uses to meet immediate, tangible needs of peasan ts and prevent instability (King 2009, 97). Arguably, the long-term investment of the f unds into overall economic growth and job creation would yield more solid results, but no t in time to remove the poorest Egyptians desire to protest ineffect ive government economic policy. Several political measures were also instituted during the privatization drive to protect Mubarak from opposition to the pol icy. In 1995, changes to the trade union law effectively froze the leadership of the uni on, preventing the ascent of anti-privatization members to power (Pratt 2007, 101). Amendments to the press law in 1995 and 1996 instituted incarceration as punishment for cri ticism of the regime by the media; this was designed to reduce public disc ontent by limiting citizens aw areness of the scale of 50


governm ent repression operating in the count ry at that time (Pratt 2007, 104). Not every contraction of press freedoms, though, is designed to prevent instabilit y, though all are for the benefit of the regime. Intensel y personal motivations can inspire media restrictions, such as those that followed the 1995 allegations of corruption against Mubaraks sons in their handling of the purchase of Airbus planes for EgyptAir, the state airline (King 2009, 125). The final area requiring Mubara ks attention to maintain his authoritarian rule is limiting the political appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood. Political Islam had challenged the Egyptian state since before Mubaraks presidency, but Mubarak had given the Islamists a role in Egypts political life dur ing his regime formation period in exchange for the Brotherhood controlling and moderati ng the extremist strain s of Islam in the country that favored violence over voting. The attacks on tourists in the 1990s by radical Islamist groups showed that the Muslim Brotherhood had not fulfilled its task of moderating the extremists, so President Muba rak rescinded the rewards of cooperation by reversing the political liberaliz ation that had benefited the Brotherhood in th e late 1980s (Cook 2007, 89). Violent repression of Muslim Brotherhood members, lawyers, activists, journalists, and human rights organizations took place throughout the 1990s, as the regime sought to deal with its terrorism problem and silence critics of its counterterrorism methods (Pratt 2007, 100). Beginning with the 1995 parliamentary elections, large numbers of Muslim Brotherhood figures were detained immediately prior to the polling, including both candidates and financiers (Pratt 2007, 100). This level of governm ent attention around election time shows that the Muslim Br otherhood has become the most popular 51


oppositio n group, but citizen uncertainty on the potential effects of sh aria-based policy on the political and economic landscape in E gypt prevents the groups support from surpassing the NDPs (King 2009, 102). Some au thors contend that the growth of MB support and increase in MB representati on in the Peoples Assembly since 2000 is evidence of a miscalculation by Mubaraks author itarian system of the effects of political liberalization (Cook 2007, 78). Despite the MB ga ins, however, the re pressive capability of the regime remains intact and the international commun ity remains supportive of firm control of Islamist groups in order to prevent the occurr ence of acts of terrorism. While arrests can have short-term eff ects on the organizational capacity of an opposition group, systemic changes to the political environment were needed for Mubarak to effectively limit the influence of the Islamist bloc. The regime astutely targeted the MB is its areas of strength, including f undraising and in professional syndicates. By prohibiting foreign funding without government authorization, Mubarak gained the double advantage of gaining the ability to monitor the inner workings of MB finances and then limiting the sources of funding to the MB. The sh ift of responsibility for the elections to board positions of profe ssional syndicates to the judiciary and changes to election rules to require 50% of the group s membership to vote for the board severely hampered MB control in very large or very dispersed syndicates over which their control was too consolidated in the center (Pratt 2007, 101). In the vey political active and MBdominated engineers and lawyers syndicates, th e regime cited financial irregularities as justification for placing the gr oups under official supervis ion by the judicial system. Designed to halt the spread of MB-style Isla mism in public universities, the regimes 1994 law allowing university presidents to sele ct the deans of their academic departments 52


legalized the m arginalization of Brotherhood-a ffiliated educators at the highest levels of Egyptian education (Cook 2007, 91). The final st ep in reducing MB influence occurred when President Mubarak terminated the practice of local elections, effectively limiting MB access to its own political turf, the nei ghborhoods and villages that benefit from MBsponsored social welfare programs (Cook 2007, 92). Mubaraks construction of a reliable machine of domi nance during his regime formation period allowed him to maintain his power throughout seve ral major challenges by simply oiling the machine with his tradit ional practices of le gislating control for himself and repressing challenges before th ey can gain momentum. Identifying the ways that Mubarak used these processes to defy the democratizing forces of the Third Wave will explain how one man used the myth of po litical liberalization to build a legendary system of authoritarian control. 53


Egyptian Authoritarianism: Breaking the Third Wave Huntingtons assessment that Egypt exhibi ted no signs of transition to democracy is both supported by evidence and somewhat expected, given the lack of a democratic tradition in Egypt and in the region that makes spontaneous transition unlikely. The ability of President Mubarak to sustain an authoritarian system of governance with few challenges to his rule during a time of wide spread transition to democracy lies in his talent for combining the strongest parts of each type of authoritarian leadership to defend against the various stressors that cause re gime breakdown. The regime type that most closely resembles the Mubarak machine is the sultanistic regime, though with one major difference. In a sultanistic system, the rule of the leader is based on his personal authority, but is not gained through popul ar ideology, mission, or charisma; loyalty to the leaders is bred by fear and rewards. There are few restraints on the use of power by the leader, and his use of corruption and nepotism are unque stioned. These charac teristics are all descriptive of Hosni Mubaraks role in the maintenance of Egyptian politics, however the final trait of a sultanis tic regime, weak legal-rational legi timation, is not at all a part of Mubaraks authoritarian model (Chehabi & Linz 1998, 7). The core of Mubaraks dominance is that he has been able to le gislate it to appear as a popularly supported mandate. This ability to add st ructural legitimation to improve the durability of a straight sultanistic regime is but one reason Mubarak s tenure has lasted near ly three decades. The overwhelming majority of the NDP in all government bodies degrades public faith in the electoral politics. The resi gned acceptance of NDP measures to ensure 54


election victories for its candida tes and a sincere belief that a nother group is not likely to govern any better than the NDP combine to de activate the public sect or in politics. The citizens are willing to forego political righ ts for improveme nts in living conditions or security, especially as some still feel that democratization is a foreign instrument designed to subjugate Egypt to the West that interferes in the traditional methods by which leaders are expected to care for their people. Even among those who do favor stronger democratic processes, the severe economic scarcity in the country reduces th e amount of time and money available for citizens to dedicate to political activism. This elevates the political realm to a rich mans playing field, where the needs of the worki ng class are less likely to be addressed and businessmen-politicians seek to legislate thei r own influence after th e model of President Mubarak himself. Nevertheless, pressure for reform of the Egyptian political system from international sources and domestic activists do require some response from the regime, which Mubarak designs and disse minates after the response has been sculpted to present no serious or lasting challenge to the dominance of the pres ident and his e lite supporters. Weathering the Storm of Reform Government responses to calls for reform can take various forms, though each will address the pressures (which can be inte rnal or external) in a manner designed to offer the fewest concessions by the governme nt that will pacify the source of the pressure. The most efficient and nonthreateni ng method for the authoritarian regime to apply is to find a single soluti on that appears to address inte rnal and external calls for change, but which does not actually shift the distribution of power at all. The most 55


shining example of this pr ocess is Mubaraks announcem en t in 2005 of Egypts first competitive elections for president. This m ove was applauded by international groups and Egyptian activists for opening th e channels of power to chal lengers. Some observers were skeptical of the change, as a true opening of the competition for president would have been drastically out of char acter for Mubarak, and the term s of the wider candidacy law confirmed the skeptics suspicions. Several legal hurdles to competition were present in the constitutional amendment that opened the competition, and NDP domina nce in several government bodies allowed the party to control the enforcement of thos e legal hurdles. For example, the amendment required that any candidate be a member of an established party for five years, but the NDP-heavy Political Parties Committee restricts the registration of political parties according to their interests. Second, the amen dment required that any party seeking to field a candidate hold 5% of the seats in both the Peoples Assembly (lower house) and Shura council (upper house). Tight regime control of th e outcomes of elections and presidential appointment of one-third of the upper house, of course, prevent any single opposition party from attaining those standards (Cook 2007, 73). Candidates must also have served on a higher committee within their party for at least one year before the election, making poten tial rivals visible to the ruling regime a year in advance, giving Mubarak plenty of time to assess the threat potential of each candidate and determine whether to allow him to compete and at what level of government interference. Finally, as furt her evidence of the democratic change Mubarak was proposing for the presidential race, a process was instituted by which independent candidates could cont est the election for the head of state. The terms for the 56


entry of an independent candida te in to the race, however, were impossible, as unaffiliated hopefuls were required to gain the endorse ment of 65 members of the lower house, 25 members of the upper house, and 10 local c ouncil members in 14 di fferent governorates in order to present their candidacies. The e ndorsement of 230 servi ng officials would be impossible for a non-NDP candidate given the hefty NDP majority in all of the bodies from which endorsements are required (Cook 2007, 73). It is interesting to note that because ac tive military and security officers cannot belong to a political party (lest they be divi ded on the protection of the nation), Mubarak quite intentionally assured the civilian nature of the next president. Non-party members could not serve on an executive committee fo r a year, and were as unlikely as any independent to meet the candidacy endorseme nt conditions, and thus could not run for president (Ottaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 30). It is unknown if this aspect of the move was intentional to prevent military figures from seeking political power after Mubarak leaves office, but if it was, it certa inly calls into question Mubaraks repeated denials of a plan for his son, Gamal, to succeed him. Next most preferable, if a convincing solution cannot be found, is to find a legal basis to deny the change requested. The Muba rak machine has rested in the constitutional prohibition on religion-based pol itical parties to maintain the ban on the political registration of the Muslim Brotherhood. The third most preferable manner for dealing with reform demands is to find a logistical or practical reason to deny the reform. When demands for judicial supervision of elections became too loud to ignore in the late 1990s, Mubarak instituted judicial monitoring but cited a shortfall of qualified monitors to justify conducting the elections in three-ph ases. The three-phased approach allowed 57


greater opportunity for the regim e to carry ou t election irregularities other than ballot fraud that ensured its dominance despite the physical presence of judiciary personnel in the polling places. Finally, if the calls for re form cannot be co-opted w ith a nominal solution or denied for legal or logistical reasons, the arena of play on th e issue must be taken out of the public sphere. While most Egyptians s upport the repeal of the Emergency Law in order to increase personal freedoms and enc ourage public trust in the government, the continuation of the law is not put up for public debate, rather the NDP-heavy Peoples Assembly and Shura Council decide on the laws renewal at the direction of the president. The above methods represent the non-violent means of stifling opposition to the regime, and Mubarak uses the above method s frequently due to his correct assessment that quelling demands for reform by force is not a long-term solution to the perpetual problem of activists seeking change. Reducing public calls for change in the fi rst place is an effective way to minimize energy that must be put into nominal reform efforts. Making small changes to less critical parts of government structures give the a ppearance of change w ithout threatening the status quo, as in when Mubarak increased the power of the Peoples Assembly to oversee budget functions in Egypt or when he create d a process by which the Peoples Assembly could withdraw confidence from a government minister with a certain level of support. What initially looks like a concession of pow er from the president to the parliament may only be a new tool of influence for the pres ident, as the dominance of the NDP in the Peoples Assembly makes it highly unlikely th at parliamentarians will oppose either budget moves or the ministers who are higher in the structure of Mubaraks regime for 58


fear of stunting their own gr owth pote ntial within the patronage hierarchy (Ottaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 29). In keeping with Mubaraks tradition of making incremental changes frequently, the 2007 amendments to the Egyptian constitution that modified some of the terms of the 2005 amendments ostensibly created more openings for political participation. The document relaxed the party seat requirements fo r presidential candidacy privileges to 3% (and allowed parties holding just one seat to field presidential candidates until 2016), but also specifically reduced the role of the judiciary in supe rvision of elec tions (Ottaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 25). The maintenance of the requirement for candidates to be a member of partys higher committee for at least one year prevents the tactical coalition of smaller parties immediately prior to electi ons, allowing the large NDP to continue its controlling interest in the legislative branch (Ottaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 26). The 2007 amendments created an electoral commission to ensure the fairness and transparency of Egyptian democracy, however the composition of the group is not wholly from the judicial branch, likely a punishment for the attempts by the Judges Club to assert their independence during th e 2005 amendment process that reflected poorly on the regime. The commission consists of 11 member s, of whom the judiciary only gets to appoint four. The other seven members are appointed by the parliament, and the group is responsible for districting, vot er registries, election supervision, results handling and announcement, and the role of civil society bodies in monitoring election activities in Egypt (Ottaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 27). The final portion of the 2007 amendment enshrined two of the most onerous terms of the Emergency Law in the constitution: the right to try civilians in mili tary courts and the capacity to suspend citizens rights if 59


necessary to com bat terrorism (O ttaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 29). The total package of amendments to the constitution in 2007 received little media attention compared to the 2005 amendments and the two NDP parliamentarians who opposed the changes were immediately expe lled from the party (Ottaway & ChoucairVizoso 2008, 25). Other groups who have tried to assert their independence have met regime resistance as well, such as when the judiciary instituted a dr ive for autonomy that spurred the creation of security courts and tribunals for a net loss of judicial power. This is evidence that institutions and persons who choose not to play by Mubaraks rules in his structures will be marginalized (Cook 2007, 75). To maintain the right to carry out even faade reform activity, organizations must accept their role as advisory diversions w hose stances can become policy positions so long as they align with the regimes visi on of Egypts preferred future. The National Council for Human Rights was created in 2003 as an organization that produces credible reports on the human rights situation in Egyp t; however, the Council recognizes that the regime ignores their reports and chooses not to push the government to recognize their findings, a challenge which could lead to th e disbanding of their movement (Ottaway & Choucair-Vizoso 2008, 30). Another way to use political action to count er reform efforts is to proactively find an issue of tertiary importance to which th e government can apply reform effort without challenging overall dominance. One example of an issue that the NDP could reform for its own benefit is the lack of effective competition legislation in Egypt. A law that allegedly abolishes monopolistic practices, but in fact crafts the master plan for how to legalize them, would give some media coverage to a government-initiated reform 60


activity, gain the regim e some kudos from activ ists, but require absolutely no meaningful change in business practices (King 2009, 204). Effective management of the civil soci ety landscape is crucial to Mubarak protecting his dominance while projecting hi s commitment to democracy. Cook defines civil society as the arena of the polity where self-organizing groups, movement, and individuals, relatively autonomous from the state, attempt to articulate values, create associations, and advance their interests. Egypt is a haven for such groups, with over 19,000 civil society organizati ons registered with the government (Cook 2007, 6). By placing legal and cultural cons traints on the behavior of civil society organizations (CSOs), Mubarak controls the scope and pace of reform activity and disallows demands for change that he cannot address in a manner beneficial to himself. The 1999 Associations Law restricted the activities and funding sources of CSOs, and created a major dilemma for organizations : register with the Ministry of Social Affairs and receive substantial funding but s tifling state control, or form under the Companies Law to reduce the government oversight of activities but forfeit state resources (Pratt 2007, 101; Jamal 2007, 123). Th e formation of national issue councils and population of the councils with members of CSOs dedicated to the issue directs the efforts of the reform movements into gove rnment channels, and allows the national council to disregard the input of the CSO contributors in favor of NDP-approved reforms (Pratt 2007, 133-34). The regime has closed CSOs that critic ize the government too harshly or bring up issues the regime cannot address. The Arab Womens Solidarity Association was closed in 1991 on technical grounds, but observer s contend that its focus on combating 61


oppression of wom en in the private sphere embarrassed the regime, which had no capability to address the issue from a polic y standpoint, but whose inaction was viewed as a lack of support for improving womens rights. A focus by the Association on discrimination against women in the public sphere would have brought at least some progress as the regime took whatever action was necessary to lim it criticism of its policies vis--vis women (Pratt 2007, 144). Mu barak designed the landscape of reformist politics as an obstacle course to control the scope and pace of change in the interest of stability. Civil society organi zations bolster his authoritar ian control by focusing on the wrong issues (that is, issues that the regime cannot fix and will thus marginalize) and playing the regimes game of choosing what issues are important and what methods of correction are acceptable. The pr obability of success when playing Mubaraks game is almost negligible; as in any game of ch ance, the house always wins (Pratt 2007, 19). Even without regime interference, though, the opposition parties have internal weaknesses that limit their popular appeal. N one of the parties have fresh, dynamic, persuasive leaders and non present concre te plans of action for fixing the national problems indentified in their speeches. Most are not nationwide or ganizations, leaving them unable to compete with the NDP all the way to the borders and down to the village level. Parties lack internal democracy, and so do not gain followers for their shining democratic example. The small size and of ten reform-focused platform of opposition parties results in little ability to relate to constituents, as citizens are more concerned about improvements to their daily lives th an changes to electoral laws or the advancement of human rights (King 2009, 96). Despite the weaknesses of the reform -minded opposition parties, President 62


Mubarak still responds to the calls for re form with his customary intimidation of opposition figures and declarations of his commitment to the rule of law. Politicians such as Ayman Nour and countless Muslim Brothe rhood candidates have been jailed on accusations of impropriety in the handling of political business, and reformers are regularly arrested for alleged defamatory language or harming the nations interest by criticizing the regime. One of Egypts most notable reform personalities is Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who lives in exile in Qatar due to outstanding arrest warra nts for him in Egypt based solely on his reform ac tivities. Mubarak deflects crit icism for the repression of these figures by citing the constitutional duty of the state to uphol d laws, repeating the charges each detained or exiled person is accused of committing, and laying the responsibility for the treatment on the enforci ng security organization, since such matters are not the concern of a pr esident. In 1995, Mubarak commented on his handling of Islamist and other political challenges within Egyptian democracy: Your media said that Americans were advising Egypt with their di alogue. Never. And whoever says to me dialogue, I tell him, No. Go have a dialogue in your own c ountry. We know our people, and how to deal with them (King 2009, 105). Mubarak recognizes the practical challenges that Egypt faces in allowing policy decisions to be carried out in the public sp here. Unlike other countries in the 2008 study by Kaye, Wehrey, Grant, and Stahl, Egypt has not experi enced decreased levels of terrorism during more openly democratic peri ods. In Egypt, violen ce and liberalization occur in tandem, so Mubarak has little motivate to promote democracy at the expense of security. His authoritarian control is a mech anism of protection for the Egyptian society (Kaye et al 2008, 54). 63


The use of the security services for polit ical action is Mubaraks instrument of choice for stifling reform pressures from do mestic groups. The pervasive police presence maintains a climate of suspicion, and the a buse or intimidation of political prisoners prevents some citizens from seeking political change. The popular reform activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim is an outspoken critic of the Mubarak regime, and was arrested and prosecuted in 2000 for violations of the electo ral code. He allegedl y used foreign funding to pay for election monitors during the pa rliamentary polls, which is illegal under Egyptian law. Ibrahim was eventually acqui tted during his third appeal in 2003, having been incarcerated for the length of his trial and appeals, and soon took a position lecturing in the United States. He eventually went into self-imposed exile in Qatar, and has since been convicted in ab sentia of defaming Egypt, ma king his return to his home country unlikely. The willingness of the Muba rak government to arrest and detain wellknown reform figures and use security threat s to marginalize them before the domestic audience shows the dedication of the authoritarian system to silencing calls for change. The security services also design media campaigns to divide opposition leaders and impede group progress (Ottaway & Choucair-V izoso 2008, 35). The reach of the police and intelligence organizations is extensive e nough to repress most citizens if necessary, and as long as the repressive apparatus is perceived as capable by the bulk of Egyptian citizens, the regime will be able to count on public acquiescence to virtually any political action (Pratt 2007, 11). International human rights and reform or ganizations criticize the use of the security services to repress society in the interest of quelling viol ence and maintaining stability. In 1993, Human Rights Watch, an in ternational group that reports on human 64


rights violations, predicted that Mubaraks he avy-handed approach to halting the violence and civil unrest occurring in E gypt at the time would ultimately fail to bring order to the country. Stating that official efforts to rest ore the rule of law by systematically flouting it are bound to fail, the group must have mis calculated the degree of Mubaraks control and his motivation to realign the citizens with orderly standards of be havior (Kaye et al 2008, 32). Seventeen years later, the repressi ve apparatus remains and Mubarak is the head of a stable state. 65


Post-Mubarak Projections The scope of this study has been to e xplain how the person of Hosni Mubarak has shaped the institutional party and military forms of control that have allowed his authoritarian leadership to remain so durab le during the Third Wave of democratization that toppled so many nondemocr atic systems. It is wise, though, to also examine the durability of the structures Mubarak built as a framework for Egyptian governance after Mubaraks departure from politics. Is there a likely successor waiting in the wings who will be able to balance elite demands, internat ional pressures, the constraints of poverty, and regional diplomatic challenges as effectiv ely as President Mubarak has? If so, can the state structure Mubarak built be shaped by the new leader to accomplish his dominance, or will the new leader have to be shaped to the state? As the architect of Egypts current authoritarian regime and its leader for nearly three decades, Mubarak seems a timeless character. He has enjoyed a lifetime of privilege and power, but as he nears his eighty-sec ond birthday in May 2010 observers of Egyptian politics must address who (or what) will come after Mubarak in the governance of the regional heavyweight. Mubarak has a number of health pr oblems common for his age and has survived six assassination attempts (inc luding one by the younger brother of Sadats killer), but has remained securely at the helm of the state leadership, deflecting all physical and political challenges to his dom inance. The successor to such a leader will need to be a hardy man. The institutions of military, political, economic, and social control are in place and functi oning, but Egypts next president will have to prove his proficiency in managing those levers of power to maintain his own dominance. 66


Institutional Bridges to Next-Generation Authoritarianism The contention of some scholars that the in stitutional bureaucracy in Egypt is so strong that it will likely be somewhat inde pendent of whatever leader comes to power next is in conflict with the operating mech anics of the bureaucracy as built by Mubarak. The state structure has not been required to exercise initiative, so independent decisionmaking and policy design are not within the ca pacity of the Egyptian bureaucracy. Just as Mubarak offers constant detailed guidance for the implementation of policy, a central leader will be necessary to ensure unity of purpose between the large organs of the authoritarian system: the National Democratic Party, the military, and the security and intelligence services. Without a clear designa tion of a preferred successor by Mubarak, the potential for chaos exists, as the leader s of each of the large organs may face uncertainty regarding for whose succession th ey should exercise th eir kingmaker role. The shift of power from Mubarak to his successor will need to be seamless to prevent destabilizing claim staking at all levels of the bureaucracy during the transition. The role of the institutions that Mubara k built will be key in allowing the stable functioning of the government of Egypt during the new leade rs regime formation period, though each bloc will still require overarchi ng direction from the new leader. Most important will be the leadership of the Nati onal Democratic Party, as the party is the structure through which the patronage system is implemented, and thus is the engine that keeps the government functionaries functioning. In addition to disbursement of loyaltyinducing benefits, the NDP structure will al so be able to hold the processes and procedures of government steady for the initi al transition period, wh ich the party will be happy to do since the likely successor will have come from its ranks. Finally, in order to 67


protect the new leaders dominance and the partys legitimacy as the ruling entity, the NDP structure, with the assistance of the s ecurity forces intimidation schemes, will be responsible for carrying out the first round of elections after Muba raks tenure using his traditional toolkit of polling irregularities for NDP gain. The role of the military will also be important, as it will enforce order during any civil unrest seeking social change during the transition. By keeping the streets quiet and maintaining the productivity of the largely military-controlled economy (especially in the production of the subsidized food staples that so many Egyptian poor depend on), the armed forces will be able to minimize widespread public discontent. The final effect of the institutional stru ctures in Egypt during transition from Mubarak to another leader will be the opportunity the structures will provide for the cooptation of new actors. If, afte r playing the losing game of re form for thirty years, an actor wants to join forces with the ruling party and attempt to make a difference from within, the regime is very likely to welcome him into the NDP fold. The willingness to absorb former challengers springs from the r ecognition that attractiv e patronage benefits and organizational inertia on projects other than the Presidents objectives will deactivate the reformer-turned-NDP member, thus neutrali zing another internal pressure for reform. Serving as a buffer for criticism is the main way the institutions built by Mubarak will support the new leader as a bri dge to his own form of domina nce. His authoritarian style may not replicate Mubaraks, but the consiste ncy of control offered by the institutional bridge will allow him to prevent challenges to his rule while he consolidates state power for himself. In addition to creating the structures of power, Mubarak uses a distinct set of 68


authoritarian techniques that hi s successor will likely have to learn to build a regime as durable as Mubaraks. First, the declaration of a viewpoint in cont radiction to a policy direction gives Mubarak political cover for the negative effects of policy actions or inaction. When implementing privatizati on measures that improved the economic function of the state, but increased poverty for the masses, Mubaraks speeches about his commitment to the wellbeing of the workers were purely to placate the lower classes. There was no fiscal way to prevent the increased poverty while opening the economy, but the speeches were seen as evidence that the difficulty must be either coming from another source or was beyond the presidents control, for his support for the working class was sure. Second, Mubaraks ability to predict th e outcomes of policy changes and then rework the policy to ensure it presented no threat to his dominance was robust. During the 2003-2004 push for democratization in the Middle East by the United States, Egyptian authoritarianism was roundly criti cized by pundits and reform groups inside Egypt began to apply new boldness to their cal ls for change as their cause was aligned with the U.S. effort. President Mubarak announced in early 2005 that he would seek an amendment to the Egyptian constitution to a llow competitive presidential elections for the first time. Previously, the president had been nominated by the NDP-dominated Peoples Assembly then approved by the ci tizens in a yes-no referendum. Mubarak had been president for 24 years when he first competed for his job. The move was hailed internationally as a major opening of th e political process in Egypt, and following Mubaraks resounding victory, was touted by th e NDP as proving that he had been the best president for Egypt all along. The lega l particulars of the amendment, however, 69


show that Mubarak had no intention of sharing or shifting power as a result of the 2005 changes to the constitution. By severely lim iting the number of parties that could present candidates and carrying out electi on irregularities as always, the regime ensured that the new presidential election system did not th reaten Mubaraks positi on at the top (King 2009, 108). After the conduct of the 2005 el ections, further amendments in 2007 opened the presidential race to more ca ndidates (within the margin of continued NDP control), while simultaneously enshrining Emer gency Law concepts into the constitution that will allow the current state structure to deal with future challenges in a legal but opaque way. The dynamic nature of Mubaraks authoritar ianism is often lauded as openness to change, however the incremental nature of the numerous reforms has painted a quite static picture on the macro s cale. In nearly three decades the regime has made hundreds of changes to laws and processes in the na me of political liberalization, however the landscape of Egyptian po litics is still just as unfriendl y to challengers as in 1981. The practice of making small steps in sequence rather than a larg e package of changes at once allows the regime to manage public expectati ons of how much change they will be able to see or feel from each step. More importa ntly, it also gives the regime time between each step to monitor their ow n level of dominance and reduce any openings for challenge to its power that a previous step created before instituting another. Faade reform after faade reform can be implemented by the au thoritarian system as long as no genuine shifts in control of the state are likely to take place. Ayubi spoke of each Egyptian presiden t having a revolution within the 1952 revolution that served as his legacy. For Nasser, the nationalization of the Suez Canal 70


steered the character of Egypt through his tenure, and Sadats participation in the Camp David negotiations changed the face of the en tire Middle East by br inging the first peace between Israel and an Arab country ( Owen & Tripp 1989, 14). What will Mubaraks revolution be? Is it possible th at his brand of authoritaria n control, the nondemocratic democracy, is his legacy? The many Egypt analysts who assess that Mubarak is grooming his younger son, Gamal, to take over the presidency seem to focus on his meteoric rise to prominence in the National Democratic Party as evidence that he is the most likely successor to Mubarak. If the elder Mubarak intends to add the institution of hereditary rule to the list of ways he ignores democratic tradition, this may very well be the case. The transition of power from father to son would encounter as many logistical challenges as any other transition, and the fina l section of this study identifies the major things Gamal has done and has yet to do to su cceed his father and maintain the durability of Egypts authoritarian regime. Gamal Mubaraks Civilian Challenge Gamal Mubarak has a hefty task list to acco mplish if he is to take over the reins of power of the largest Arab state from his fath er. Convincing internal and external parties of his fitness to rule will require a demonstrated ability to continue the benefit scheme and policy predictability that the elder M ubarak used to gain global backing. Gamals strength of leadership has b een shown in his speedy ascent to one of the highest positions in the NDP structure, the head of Policies Secretariat, and the move may also show a new focus by the NDP on technocratic progress, wh ich Gamal would be well-suited to lead (Brownlee 2007, 147). As a simple cog in the party machine, Gamal began to make 71


himself known as a political fo rce in 1999 when he formed the Future Party movement of young technocrats from NDP ranks, in direct ch allenge to the NDP. Claiming a desire to advance the country, the Future Party for ced accommodation of their objectives by the mainstream NDP leadership in order to prevent a full split in the dominant party. Interestingly, the traditional rift between the Old Guard and the New Guard in the party was actually repaired a great deal by th e strength of Gamals challenge and the willingness by the offshoot group to maintain un ity with the main party once its demands were met (Brownlee 2007, 133). That Gamal kne w precisely what concessions to ask for and on what scale his demands would be ach ievable may have shown some of the Old Guard that his political savvy was greater than they had assessed, and his preference to avoid public sparring that could damage th e party likely won him further support. The lack of a reaction to the Future Party chal lenge by the military shows that the whole situation proceeded with the bl essing of the President, which likely also inspired some of the conciliation of the Old Guard. The possibi lity remains that Hosni Mubaraks blessing is strong enough to deliver the presidency to his chosen successor after his departure from politics, especially if th at departure is planned. Gamal has shown the Old Guard that his political ascent is not a threat to their financial benefit as supporters of the Muba rak leadership. By cha nneling his development efforts through the Future Foundation and the Future Generation Foundation, both nonprofits, Gamal showed the NDP elite that he could meet his goals without costing the government, the NDP, or its members financ ially. His selection to the NDP policies secretariat in 2000 is evidence that his prestige was bolstered through his initiation of the Future Party challenge, and his support from the Old Guard has grown as he has taken on 72


and solved some of the partys most difficult situations (Brownlee 2007, 134). The phenomenon of junior NDP members w ho were not selected for candidacy on the NDP party list running in parliamentary elections as i ndependents and then rejoining the party after unseating the official NDP candidate was a major point of contention between the senior members and their younger ch allengers. The practi ce was a threat to the cohesion of the party, and like his fath er, Gamal recognized the need to prevent the formation of factions within the ruling elite. Gamal designed a party caucus system to select the official candidates for the NDP lis t, and also like his father, held secret negotiations with the higher elites to determ ine the winners of the caucus polls ahead of time. Further, any NDP members who ran fo r parliament seats without official NDP backing were automatically expelled from the party, effectively marginalizing themselves in Egyptian politics for the rest of thei r lives (Brownlee 2007, 146). This bold move by Gamal bust have curried favor with the Old Guard, as the change crea ted a legal basis to uphold what had previously been only custom ary dominance by the senior party leaders. Gamals international reputation is also positive, with heads of state regularly willing to meet with him during his travels ou tside Egypt. His ability to maintain solid relationships with countries th at benefit Egypt, such as the United States, will help him consolidate his power without drawing serious reform pressu res from foreign sources or jeopardizing the financial assistance international cooperation brings. The novelty of an Egyptian president without a military background causes some scholars to doubt whether Gamal can succeed his father. It is true that the military elite serve as guarantors of the power of the presid ency, and that some of that elite may prefer another military leader become head of stat e. What is most likely, though, is that the 73


military elite will support whichever potential president is best able to protect their privileged position in Egyptian society. According to Linz, th e nature of Egyptian politics is beneficial to the military enclave in that it incorporates limited political pluralism that is not responsible to the pub lic; it has no guiding ideologies only mentalities about the way the country should be run; it allows little political mobilization by the citizens; and it includes few checks on the exercise of power by the leadership (Brooker 2000, 23-26). In a country where the head of that beneficial system is also a military man, the military elite can operate without worry about the durab ility of their privilege The military leader also prevents wider claim staking by the milita ry because the leaders of the armed forces can assume that the leader is committed to their interests by virtue of his common service (Cook 2007, 74). The challenge for Gamal in gaining the s upport of the military will be in assuring them of his intention to continue the tangi ble benefits of their loyalty, in terms of patronage and nepotism, and in meeting as ma ny of their needs as possible to prevent an increase in military claim staking that w ould weaken the new president. First, the simplest method by which Gamal could strengt hen military support for his leadership is not to change things in the initial stages of his presidency. By maintaining status quo, Gamal can build progressively stronger ties to the military elite until he is able to influence them without drawing opposition; to attempt change to early is likely to motivate the military leaders to bend him to th eir will, which could end disastrously for a new president (Cook 2007, 139). Second, maintain ing the current relationship between the government and the military will also prev ent problems that Gamal may not be able to face at the beginning of his tenure. For ex ample, the Peoples Assembly has the legal 74


authority to oversee defense allocations and procurement plans, but has not once exercised that right. Defense Minister Tantawi presents the Egyptian military budget, allocation scheme, and procurement plan to the Assembly annually, but no one, not even opposition members, questions the Minister on th e objectives or expenditures laid out in the session (Cook 2007, 74). The silence by the parliamentarians, especially opposition members, shows the pervasive power held by the elder Mubarak that Gamal would have to replicate credibly among th e Assembly in order to prevent a potentially embarrassing incident during a future presentation by Ta ntawi that would create major anti-Gamal backlash among the military elite. Reform-oriented publications claim that th e Egyptian people need to be convinced of Gamals suitability to rule before he can succeed his father, but the idea of a popular mandate being necessary flies in the face of Eg ypt as an authoritarian state in the first place. If Gamal seeks public backing, he will ne ed to shift focus from himself as Gamal the Presidents Son to that of Gamal th e Competent Leader. Wh ile both titles may be true, only the latter will help citizens judge his fitness to lead based on his merits, and possibly remove their objection to his acc ession which is often solely based on an opposition to hereditary power, not on a nega tive opinion of how Gamal is likely to govern. The competitive nature of the presid ential elections now may assist in the socialization of Gamal as a future leader, while the actual terms of entry for the presidential race remain too strict for the entry of most candidates (Brownlee 2007, 150). The best-case scenario for Gamal would be for a sense of inevitab ility of his succession to descend on the Egyptian electorate so that he genuinely wins the presidency as more citizens attempt to join the ranks of thos e who will benefit from NDP dominance under 75


Mubarak dynastic rule. It seems most likely that Gamal will not distance himself appreciably from the position of Mubaraks son, because in reality th e will of the people has little influence in the selection and maintenance of an Egyptia n president. Playing up his attachment to Hosni Mubarak and the contin uity of NDP dominance is likely to win Gamal more effective support from the elite who actually determine how durable a presidency can be. Gamal is not likely to choose a populist platform (which he is too rich to really pull off anyway) over the nearly gua ranteed benefit of heading a strong and complex authoritarian structure th at taking over his father s regime would allow. 76


Conclusions This study has laid out the manner in which President Hosni Mubarak took over an authoritarian system and ossified it w ithin a bureaucratic structure to prevent a transition to democracy. The important role Mu barak has played in the Egyptian structure began even before his presidency, as he posit ioned himself for leadership at every level, rising quickly through the ranks of the Egyptian Air Force and to the top levels of the National Democratic Party. His strong ac tion during his regime formation period, including legalizing the domina nce of the NDP, limiting the role of political Islam, and protecting the support of the m ilitary enclave, allowed him to face challenges to his power successfully and generally ignore in ternal and external calls for reform. Periodic and incremental legislative steps that mimic political liberalization have prevented major public demands for change a nd have quieted intern ational pressures for reform. Various policies, mo stly economic, that impede the development of Egypts poorest areas and sustain staggering poverty for a majority of citizens are maintained by the Mubarak machine, but are occasionally and temporarily overcome with financially lucrative foreign policy decisions. The c onsistency with which Mubarak has found opportunities to compensate for some negative aspects of his authoritarian rule before widespread discontent could seriously challe nge his dominance is difficult to explain in terms of luck or favorable timing; it is lik ely that such opportuniti es for diversionary policy are frequently present and that Mubarak is simply more astute than other leaders at taking advantage of the opportunitie s for personal political gain. Following the proof of the integral piece Mubarak has provided to the management of the authoritarian system in Egypt, the research briefly addressed the 77


projections for Egyptian aut horitarianism after Mubarak s departure from office, especially the prospects for the succession of presidential son Gamal Mubarak. Covering both the institutional bridges that will su stain state function while a new leader consolidates his control as well as the task s that Gamal will need to accomplish among the various groups of elites in order to take power without weakening the structure as a whole, the second part does not question that an authoritarian regime will survive in Egypt in some form. The lack of a democr atic tradition makes the continuity of authoritarian control in the country a virtual certainty. An important consideration for any study on the prospects for democratization in a country that survived the Third Wave unscathed is whether a transition out of authoritarian control is even beneficial for the country or the international system. Despite the periodic calls for increased political openness in Egypt by the major Western powers, it is not certain that there is true international support for transition. Democracy is an inherently uncertain form of governance, and the interest of the West in stability in the secondand third-tier st ates is paramount. Serious pr essure by the major states concerning democratization is usually s upported by consistent statements to the authoritarian state on th e need for liberalization. It is po ssible that the United States, in particular, is only nominally inte rested in the reduction of E gyptian authoritarian control. Egypts main utility to the U.S. is as a partner in peace with Israel. Israels government changes frequently due to its demo cratic process, and the U.S. may not have confidence that the Egypt-Israel peace treaty would have survived more than 30 years if Egyptian leaders of various political streams had rotated as often since 1979. Each leader would have been preoccupied with consolid ating his own temporary power, and may not 78


have been able to respond to the various international challenges that Mubaraks authoritarian control withstood without violence. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the First Intifada, the Second In tifada, and the violence and blockade of Gaza following the 2006 democratic victory by the militant group HAMAS all brought great pressure on the Egyptian government to abrogate the peace tr eaty to protest Isr aeli actions. A weaker leader than Mubarak may have been swayed to cancel the treaty, leading to a massive increase in regional instability and a financially debilitating loss of the $2.3 billion in U.S. aid annually that forms the main incentive for maintaining the treaty. Mubarak came to power as the head of the October Generation, and built a structure for peace from his background of war (Cook 2007, 74). The next president will likely be a member of the Camp David Genera tion; he will have no war hero status to claim popularity from, and his objective will not be ensuring stability in the country but creating development from a faulty economic structure. It will be a difficult job, as leading a country always is, but as the successor of Mubarak, the new president will benefit from the bureaucratic structure of control that Mubarak built. Implementing the necessary economic changes to bring advancement to the Egyptian society at large will be challenging, but possible, due to the ha nds-on control of Hosn i Mubarak since 1981. 79


References Baker, Randall, ed. 2002. Transitions from Authoritarianism: The Role of the Bureaucracy. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. Brooker, Paul. 2000. Non-Democratic Regimes: Theory, Government & Politics New York: St. Martins Press. Brownlee, Jason. 2007. Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chehabi, H.E. and Juan J. Linz. 1998. Sultanistic Regimes. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Cook, Steven A. 2007. Ruling but Not Governing: Th e Military And Political Development In Egypt, Algeria, And Turkey. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Cowell, Alan. Egypt Faces an Economic Squeeze, The New York Times June 26, 1989. Dunn, Michael Collins. Egypts Culture Wa rs Lead to Crackdown on Labor Party, The Estimate, June 2, 2000. Geddes, Barbara. 2003. Paradigm and Sand Castles: Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Hidalgo, Jose. 1994. Defense Reinvestment in Egypt -a Proposal: The Time is Now, DISAM Journal 16, no. 4: 20-25. Huntington, Samuel. 1991. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 80


Ibrahim Muhammad. 2003. Libya : The Sons Also Rise. Foreign Policy 139: 37-39. Jamal, Amaney A. 2007. Barriers to Democracy: The Othe r Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Kaye, Dalia Dassa, Frederic Wehrey, Audra K. Grant; and Dale Stahl. 2008. More Freedom, Less Terror?: Liberalization and Po litical Violence in the Arab World. Arlington, VA: RAND Corporation. King, Stephen J. 2009. The New Authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Ottaway, Marina. 2003. Democracy Challenged: The Rise of Semi-Authoritarianism. Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Ottaway, Marina, and Choucai r-Vizoso, Julia, eds. 2008. Beyond the Facade: Political Reform in the Arab World. Washington: Carnegie E ndowment for International Peace. Owen, Roger, and Charles Tripp, eds. 1989. Egypt under Mubarak. New York: Routledge. Pratt, Nicola. 2007. Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Arab World Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Storm, Lise. 2009. The Persistence of Authoritarianism as a Source of Radicalization in North Africa. International Affairs 85, no. 5: 997-1013. 81


Appendices 82


Appendix A: Confirmation of Theory in Similar Cases Syria, Iran, and Libya Syria Syria under Hafez al-Asad experienced timid steps toward democratization in the 1970s, and accomplished privatization through crony capitalism much in the same way Egypt did in the 1980s. Syria similarly allowe d limited pluralism in political processes with a single party maintaining institutiona l control. The political landscape that Bashar al-Asad took over on his fathers death in 2000 was subject to his influence, though (like his father) he did not exercise unilateral control of the system. Bashar, an ophthalmologist, was the second son of Ha fez, and began being groomed for the presidency only after his politician brother, Ba sil, was killed in a car accident in 1994. In the six short years of preparation for a job he had not originally been destined to fill, Bashar had to undertake as much of the personal and professi onal development as possible that he would need to effectively steer Syria into the 21st century. Like Egypt, a state of emergency remained during his prep aration and regime formation periods, and extensive use of the security apparatus en sured order while he consolidated power. International stressors hampered his ability to institute unquestioned dominance, though, as the assassination of Rafiq Hariri (and in ternational condemnation of alleged Syrian government involvement) forced Asad into a very weak position and spurred the withdrawal of Syrian forces from thei r lengthy occupation of Lebanon (King 2009, 127). The desire to regain power on the internati onal stage has caused Sy ria to seek strong relations with Iran, to the detriment of its re lations with its Arab neighbors and the West. 83


The recen t example of hereditary su ccession in Syria draws frequent and vehement criticism from the Egyptian public, who feel the practice is the result of inherently unfree politics. It is possible that th e populace fears that the accession of Gamal Mubarak would leave Egypt weak enough to need external support, compromising its regional prominence and in ternal freedom of action. The short duration of Asads self-prepa ration may not signal a lower quality of the training. Unlike President Mubarak, Ba shar had the benefit of a father-son relationship with his predecesso r, and several legislative ch allenges to his succession and rule were eliminated by his father prior to Bashar taking office. Hafez al-Asad also signaled his intent for Bashars succession ea rly and often, and took measures to ensure the support of his inner circle for his son. Gamal Mubarak may benefit from a similar insider method of learning statecraft, but will also need more vocal support from his father to bridge the generational gap between himself and the highest supporters of the current Egyptian regime. Key question for Syria in light of the framework of this research: Can the selfpreparation period of an incoming authoritarian be compressed in time if it is paired with strong efforts to build the dominan ce of the new leader by the incumbent? Iran The current leaders of the authoritarian system in Iran began preparing their dominance even before the revolution, so it is interesting to examine how much selfpreparation for control of the religious establis hment translated to effective control of the 84


state after the Islam ic Revol ution of 1979. Specifically look ing at the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, the inte rplay between politics and the clergy is tight and mutually reinforcing. Khamenei used his mid-grade re ligious credentials to gain entry to the political scene in Iran, and then used his pliabi lity as president to gain the favor of former Supreme Leader Khomeini. Simultaneously limiting true reform in Iran and building strong ties in the Revolutionary Guard showed Khomeini his intent to be a strong leader committed to revolutionary principles, who then allowed Khamenei to be his successor. By alternating influence between two of the heaviest levers of Ira nian state power, the armed forces and the clerical establishment, Khamenei built his reputation among leaders and the people, and benefitted from the legislative action of Khomeini is consolidating and insulating the power, position, and person of the Supreme Leader prior to Khameneis accession (Brownlee 2007, 158-162). This path to prominence mirrors that of Ba shar al-Asads self-p reparation in that his own efforts to increase his influence are augmented by the incumbent. Because President Mubarak does not publicly express support for Gamals succession, the legislative actions he has taken to limit the access of others to the political process cannot be certainly attributed to a desire to help Gamal. The measures definitely support the advancement of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), in which Gamal is a powerful figure, so the elder Mubarak may f eel that supporting the party and allowing Gamal to strive for his own gains within the NDP will provide Gamal more genuine support from the party and maintain the vene er of democratic governance he claims to oversee. 85


Key question for Iran in light of the f ramework of this research: Can self-preparation for leadership positions other than national political leadership accomplish the same outcome of allowing the authoritarian leader to make effective use of all the instruments of state power to protect his dominance? Libya Libya shares a post-revolutionary frame of reference with Iran, and the continued rule of Muammar Qadhafi si nce the 1969 overthrow of the monarchy is an interesting case of authoritarian durability. The governing structure of Libya differs from most Syria, Iran, and Egypt in that it has no political pa rties, but employs a multi-layered system of councils to address issues at the local, gover norate, and national levels. Qadhafis system disallows trade unions or strikes by any groups, and allows the formation of nongovernmental organizations onl y on state-approved topics with state licensure. This contrasts with the dynamic but immobile state of play in Egyptian politics, where 19,000 civil society groups and various parties attempt political influence but are unable to challenge the regime. Reasons for this differe nce may lie in the small population of Libya (6.2 million compared to Egypts 81.5 million), the lack of legal or traditional precedents for democratic competition, and the adoption of foreign policies by Qadhafi that are the inverse of Egypts since the end of the mona rchy. Libyas third way of the 1970s that eschewed dominance by either the Soviet Un ion or the United States eventually brought international isolation and economic hardship, while Egypts method of gaining as much benefit as possible by maintaining cordial ties with as many states as possible helped to keep Egypt relevant in the 20th century and prevent major humanitarian crises during the 86


difficult transition toward a capit alist econom y (Ibrahim 2003, 37-38). Qadhafi took power in Libya at only 27 y ears old, and has sufficient power within his system to take major policy actions (suc h as relinquishing hi s nuclear program in 2003 in order to spur rapprochement with the We st) that are of benefit to himself and his family. The political space in which his sons may be conducting self-preparation in hopes of their eventual succession is not large, due to the relatively limited combat activity of the Libyan armed forces since 1969 and the sm all influence of the Libyan system of governing councils on national pol icy. The traditiona l avenues to power that a future Egyptian leader may traverse on his way to th e presidency are not certain pathways to influence in Libya. Two of Qadhafis sons are seen as potential successors to their father, who at only 67 years old is not likely to leave power of his own accord anytime soon. Muatassim is Libyas National Security A dvisor and maintains good relations with the group of revolutionary officers still in power. While certainly privy to the state actions that guarantee his fathers dominance, it is not known if Muatassim has the support of his father for the eventual leadership of the st ate. The assessment that the elder Qadhafi does not favor Muatassim may come from the repeat ed attempts to give his brother Saif alIslam an official position w ithin the government, which Saif has then repeatedly refused. Saif al-Islam is a businessman and self-descr ibed reformer with no military ties and little interest in politics beyond in fluencing the country toward political openness and marketbased economic principles (Storm 2009, 1002). The character of Gamal Mubarak may pr ovide a template for Saif al-Islam Qadhafi to eventually tailor for his own m ove for control over a new Libyan regime. In the same way that Gamal used his business ties to build support for his accession, Saif 87


could use th e drive for reform to gain popularity and then power; it is unknown if he will remain true to his democratization goals afte r assuming the presidency. What is certain is that he is accomplishing the se lf-preparation needed to succee d his father, and could have a durable period of control if the elder Qadhafi takes some legislative action to protect his son prior to leaving office A protracted rule by Muam mar Qadhafi (nearly 20 years younger than his head-of-state counterparts), however, could weaken Saifs chances and desire for succession. Key question for Libya in light of the framework of this research: Can self-preparation take the shape of reform advocacy in orde r to relieve domestic calls for political progressiveness while structuri ng continuity of the status quo through support activity by the incumbent? 88


Appendix B: Confirmation of Theory in Dissimilar Cases Romania and Greece Romania Despite the general perception that Nico lae Ceausescu exercised firm control of Romanian society during his 15-year rule, his execution in 1989 shows that some element of state control must have been missing in order for him to be overthrown. Ceausescu had been involved in political activity since 1965, wh en the unexpected death of the previous leader left a triumvirate of state bureaucrats in charge of the country. Ceausescu carried out intense self-preparation during the nine year s leading up to his offi cial presidency, but the narrow focus of his political preparation excluded the co-optation of the armed forces. Using only his longevity in the Romanian Communist Party, Ceausescu appropriated party powers for himself, used selective policy enforcement to remove political challengers, and placed his family members in leadership positions atop each of the bodies of political influence in Romania. Despite his assumption of the title of Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces after becoming president in 1974, he had not built his dominance into the military structure prior to his accession, and did not place relatives in the highest military positions. Without pers onal control of the m ilitary, the president could not effectively use the legal use of fo rce instrument of state power to meet his authoritarian objectives. This oversight cost Ceausescu when his November 1989 order to the Defense Minister to fire on pro-democracy protestors in the capital was rebuffed, and the execution of that minister caused the wholesale mutiny of the armed forces that eventually ousted the authoritarian regime. President Mubaraks self-preparation was more effective than Ceausescus in that 89


he initially built relationships in the military arm of the government but then expanded his powerbase (through patronage even more than nepotism) to the political, economic, and international diplomacy arenas. Gamal Muba rak will need to strengthen his role in the defense and diplomacy realms if he is to succeed his father and continue the rule of the current authoritarian system. Key questions concerning the former regime in Romania in light of the framework of this research: Presuming that an authoritarian leader intends to expand his dominance to cover all instruments of state power, does the order in which he assumes control of each lever affect the durability of his regime? Given a leaders finite amount of influence, does applying less intense, but simultaneous, effort across the instruments of power yield more effective control of all of them than a sequential power acquisition process would? Greece The military coup in Greece in 1967 followed two years of chaotic power struggles and popular protest against the various contenders. The inab ility of the military leaders to build institutional support for their regime during this tumultuous period severely limited their ability to exercise control of and make use of the instruments of state power. For lack of institutions to in fluence before accession, the military leaders were forced to use repressive measures after taking power to thwart challenges to their dominance. The focus of the military on mainta ining its own dominance led to neglect of the political process in Greece as a whole, and military leaders such as General Ioannides were only able to use military activity to show their suitability for rule. The danger in 90


relying on military action as a legitimating tool is that the salience of the military (and thus the leaders legitimacy) is dependent on the presence of military conflict or public perception of an existential threat. The Greek generals, led by Ioannides, overestimated their own freedom of action (and military cap abilities) when they undertook military action to overthrow the govern ment of Cyprus in 1974. The strong Turkish response to the operation resulted in the partition of the island and nearly brought Greece and Turkey into open conflict, a prospect so overwhe lmingly unpopular among Greek citizens that many senior officers withdrew their support fo r the ruling military faction. Only because no preparation had been done by the military le aders to ensure control of the nonviolent levers of power did the withdr awal of support for the junta al so signal the dissolution of the regime. No central figure with broad app eal had cultivated a powerbase that would have allowed continued dominance of milita ry figures after the missteps of the 1974 Cyprus fiasco. Because President Mubarak had done extensive political, economic, and international diplomatic self-preparation be fore Sadats assassina tion, he was able to swiftly reinstitute the Emergency Law to prevent claims-staking or challenges to his succession at all levels. His dominance was not solely guaranteed by his militarys salience, so even during his regime forma tion period he was not compelled to react militarily to international events, such as th e 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in order to protect his rule. Key questions concerning the former regime in Greece in light of the framework of this research: To what degree do general instability and lack of state institutions in a country 91


92 constrain a potential authoritarian leaders capa city for self-preparation for control of the various instruments of state power? What is the minimum level of non-military power structuring necessary to allo w military authoritarian leaders freedom of action to build regime prestige through military operations?