Egypt is one of the few great empires of antiquity that exists today as a nation state. Despite its extraordinary record of national endurance, the pressures to which Egypt currently is subjected and which are bound to intensify are already straining the ties that hold its political community together, while rendering ever more difficult the task of governing it. In this timely book, leading expert on Egyptian affairs Robert Springborg explains how a country with such a long and impressive history has now arrived at this parlous condition. As Egyptians become steadily more divided by class, religion, region, ethnicity, gender and contrasting views of how, by whom and for what purposes they should be governed, so their rulers become ever more fearful, repressive and unrepresentative. Caught in a downward spiral in which poor governance is both cause and consequence, Egypt is facing a future so uncertain that it could end up resembling neighboring countries that have collapsed under similar loads. The Egyptian hot spot , Springborg argues, is destined to become steadily hotter, with ominous implications for its peoples, the Middle East and North Africa, and the wider world.
This is a superbly clear and thoughtful reflection on Egypt's current predicaments, with lessons applicable to many of the failing regimes of the region. The most comprehensive account yet published. Highly readable, and packed with fresh insights. Hazem Kandil, University of Cambridge In Egypt, Robert Springborg has produced a sober and devastating overview of the issues that face the country in the wake of the Arab Spring. Unlike many other commentators who focus too narrowly on today's political actors, Springborg explores the historical, demographic, and economic forces that have created the current situation. Anybody who hopes to understand where the Egyptian state has come from, and where it is likely to go, should read this book. Peter Hessler, staff writer at the New Yorker Egypt, Robert Springborg's latest release, is a fascinating exploration of the deep state that established the republic, and that continues to rule the country with an iron fist. The New Arab A powerful book by a respected scholar who has studied the country for many decades, Egypt traces in great detail and much clarity the traditions and mechanics of the deep state that has defined modern Egypt, including chapters on the presidency, the armed forces and security agencies, the parliament, civil society, and the rocky road ahead. I recommend it strongly to any reader who wants to understand the autocratic trends that continue to proliferate across our region. Rami G. Khouri, American University of Beirut Springborg's latest work, Egypt, stands out from the spate of books published after the 2011 uprising. In clear and engaging prose, Prof. Springborg provides a compelling argument about the challenges facing the Egyptian society and polity. Packed with telling details and insightful observations, this book provides ample food for thought for specialists and the public alike. Middle East Policy A well-researched and thought-provoking work...combines a compelling, albeit sobering, analysis of the deeply troubling crisis in present-day Egypt with a thorough examination of its past. The Middle East Journal