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Politics And Society

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3/13/2008

Heba Gawish

ID: 085301вЂÑ"

О™- Abstract

Egypt is a great country with a history that goes back for more than 2 million years. Even though, it is endowed with so many natural resources, Egyptians have been suffering in many ways such as poverty and low rates of education. In my viewpoint this goes back to politics whether international or domestic.

в...Ў- Introduction

Background

During the days of monarchy in egypt most of the population was living in poverty as peasants, only an elite few were living a luxurious life. This was one of the main reasons to cause the revolution of 1952, when for the first time in the Egyptian history Egypt was ruled by native Egyptians. The revolution promised people a better life, but in return it only limited their freedoms and introduced new kinds of corruption to the society.

Politics is another area of reversals and fundamental failures. The country started its long road to democracy with the opening of a pseudo parliament in 1866. By 1923 it had a liberal democratic constitution. The coup d’etat of 1952 declared the restoration of " healthy representative political life" as one of its primary six goals. With the establishment of a bureaucratic authoritarian regime, this particular goal was openly betrayed. Having pioneered the road to political (democratic) reforms since 1976, Egypt could have been placed as leading the "third wave" of democratization, if this process were not aborted. Moreover, at the turn of the century, the country is much less democratic than could have been expected and certainly much less democratic than many other countries that came later to the road of political liberalization.

By all means certain cultural traits or qualities are parts of any thorough explanation of failures and retreats. However, this may not be traced to certain real or imagined cultural "fixties". The problem may prove to be much more profound since certain mixes of political, social and economic conditions may have so brutally damaged public consciousness that the single most important phenomenon in the political culture of society at this moment is so-called apathy and general disinterest in the public sphere. In this sense, the damage may prove lasting or much more profound unless bravely redressed by " fresh and vigorous endeavor" for restoring self-confidence through renewal and re-invigoration of old and new values. Society will have to come to grips with the profundity of its current dilemmas so that truly rational solutions can possibly be suggested and implemented. Without this act of self-conscious re-construction, the economy could take-off, but fundamental distortions and imbalances would certainly grow proportionally.

Aim of study

The aim of this paper is to prove that if all the corruption and restriction on expressing views freely stays the same then the country will never move forward.

Significance of study

The problem in question is important because at some point someone has to speak up, and maybe nothing could be done about it now but if we start doing our share of even researching the topic, sooner or later someone will do something about it.

Organization of study

This paper will start by introducing the history that led to the current circumstances, things such as Islamic fundamentalism, what caused it and what are its consequences. Moving on to international relations, affairs, and policies after 9/11. Then discuss domestic issues.

в...ў- Review of literature

For Egypt, the 20th century was almost a complete failure. At the beginning of the century, the country looked in relatively good shape and was seen as poised for economic take-off. In so many indicators, it was the country in the South that most fitted the model of robust transition to modernity. However, by the end of the century it was amply clear that many other countries that looked far behind it on the scale of development until the late 1950s, have managed to leap forward, leaving Egypt much below on the scale of human and economic development as reported by the UN.

The debate over the meaning of progress and the type of society also involved the "epistemic and moral foundations" of modernity as opposed to the model set by Islam. Aside from this, the whole debate was thoroughly soaked in the politics of identity.

The politics of frustration and the search for meaning and self-fulfillment are rooted in the nexus of interactions with the West since the beginning of the colonial age. Foreign policies thus lie at the heart of the debate on the quality and nature of "strategic choices" or the type of society desired. Contradictory choices in the field of foreign policies represent the most confused and confusing issues of debate across the whole Arab world, with Egypt at the heart of it.

Cultural Humiliation and the Rise of Islamism

One possible explanation for the failure of democratic transition in Egypt is the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and fanaticism as a major challenge to political stability in the last 25 years.

We may not take this explanation at face value for a number of reasons. In the first place, there is undeniable proof that it is the pseudo-secular state that sanctified the manipulation of religious symbols in the aftermath of the 1967 national defeat. It was also President Sadat that elevated religion into a vital part of regime ideology. He is also responsible for encouraging fanatical religious elements to reorganize and to aggressively prelaunch violence in the political arena since 1971. Religion was systematically manipulated at the beginning as an ideology for a new hegemonic coalition that would have replaced the populist coalition of Nasser’s regime. There are also some suspicions that the same motives were behind the state manipulation of religious strife starting in 1971 immediately after Sadat’s ascendance to the post of President.

The elevation of religion into a central part of regime ideology was further sanctioned in the 1974 (October) paper that was assumed to replace the "national charter" as the major philosophy document of the ruling elite. Religious ideology was later given an even greater push when the constitution of 1971 was specifically amended to achieve dubious

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