Accepted paper:

Dependency theory, development and populist authoritarianism in post-Mubarak Egypt


Arshad Arshad (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Paper short abstract:

Dependency theory, processes of development, under-development and un-development, entrenched dependency, capitalism policy, Infitah policy, Hosni Mubarak, neoliberal autocratic model, 'deep state', military, populist, Fatah al-Sisi, 'Egyptian Spring'.

Paper long abstract:

Dependency theory has defined the processes of development, under-development and un-development in terms of the division of labor, technology and capital between West and East regions of the world. The syndrome of entrenched dependency has become the cause of un-development and under-development in the Third World countries. Particularly in Egypt, capitalism was intensively implemented since the Infitah policy, later continued by President Hosni Mubarak. It was to not only keep Egypt 'un-developed' but also to make Egypt as an epitome of neoliberal autocratic model, controlled by 'deep state' uninterruptedly. The reaction against Mubarak ultimately removed him from power in 2011 that put Egypt under military rule. Economically, generals failed to increase economic growth because capital flight declined, worsening of budget, balance of payment and foreign reserve deficits. The democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi failed to meet the populist demands such as food ration, gas and political rights that disgruntled the masses against President Morsi that supported military to remove President Morsi. Nonetheless, the returning of military general Fatah al-Sisi to power on the high hope that he will meet the populist demands of political stability and economic improvement but it remained in limbo because military failed to apply anti-populist austerity measures as they feared of another 'Egyptian Spring' in the future. Egypt, therefore, faced a paradoxical situation where Fatah-al-Sisi is not only consolidating his autocratic power but he is also not able to meet the basic needs of the Egyptians because of the decline in economic growth.

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