The Impact of External Factors on the Prospects for Democratization in Egypt

Gamal M. Selim, The British University in Egypt


Before the end of the Cold War, mainstream scholarship on democratization presented the democratization process as the outcome of domestic conditions not significantly influenced by actors or forces outside the nation-state. During that period, the role of external factors was usually ignored in the study of democratization. In the post-Cold War era, this perspective was challenged as a result of the third wave of democratization, and the subsequent growth of “good governance” discourse on the agenda of the international development establishment. While not fundamentally challenging the traditional premise on the primacy of domestic factors, the new perspective has attached a more significant role to external factors in the democratization process than was originally conceptualized. The main objective of this thesis is to examine the impact of external factors on the process of democratization in Egypt in the post Cold War era; a period that witnessed a visible increase of global pressures towards democratization. This theme acquired even more significance at the academic and policy-oriented levels in light of the growing internationalization of reform arrangements in the Arab world in the post 9/11 era.