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Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt

Tamir Moustafa
Law & Social Inquiry
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 883-930
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Bar Foundation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1215790
Page Count: 48
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt
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Abstract

This study seeks to explain the paradoxical expansion of constitutional power in Egypt over the past two decades, despite that country's authoritarian political system. I find that the Egyptian regime established an independent constitutional court, capable of providing institutional guarantees on the security of property rights, in order to attract desperately needed private investment after the failure of its socialist-oriented development strategy. The court continued to expand its authority, fundamentally transforming the mode of interaction between state and society by supporting regime efforts to liberalize the economy while simultaneously providing new avenues for opposition activists and human rights groups to challenge the state. The Egyptian case challenges some of our basic assumptions about the conditions under which we are likely to see a judicialization of politics, and it invites scholars to explore the dynamics of judicial politics in other authoritarian political systems.

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