Militarizing the nation : the army, business, and revolution in Egypt /
Zeinab Abul-Magd.
New York : Columbia University Press, [2017]
vii, 326 pages ; 24 cm
0231170629, 9780231170628
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New York : Columbia University Press, [2017]
contents note
Introduction : the officer has saved the nation -- Socialism without socialists (1950s-1970s) -- The good 1980s : arms, consumerism, and scandals -- Neoliberal officers make big money (1990s-2000s) -- The republic of retired generals (1990s-2000s) -- Angry workers, Islamist grocers, and revolutionary generals (2011-2014) -- Conclusion : demilitarizing the nation?
The Egyptian army decided to intervene and take down existing regimes three times in the post-colonial state: once in 1952, and again more recently in 2011 and 2013. In old and new cases of intervention, the military institution deployed the same nationalist rhetoric about its duty as the "guardian" of the nation and the protector of national security and unity. However, the new army of the last three years is not the same institution that existed sixty years ago. This book argues that a new military institution was born in Egypt in the 1980s, after the country fought its last war with its traditional enemy and signed a peace treaty. It is an army of "neo-liberal officers," who run vast business enterprises, enjoy financial autonomy beyond public scrutiny, and intervene in politics with heavy leverage for reasons different than those of the old army--albeit by using the same nationalist rhetoric. Under such militarism, the country's existing economic crisis is growing acutely worse. The Egyptian pound has been drastically devalued, prices of basic goods have skyrocketed, unemployment rates have further increased, and foreign investors have not arrived to the country yet. As Abul-Magd explores the deep historical roots of the country's current fragile state, she also offers proscriptions for demilitarizing the nation, including divesting the Egyptian military of its business enterprises by curbing the financial support it receives from Arab Gulf states and other powers.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

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