Turmoil in Egypt - 1968-2011: the status of the armed forces in citizen uprisings in Egypt

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On 15 January 2011, there occurred an unprecedented event in the annals of Arab states: for the first time, the masses revolted and ousted a local ruler. The Tunisian masses took to the streets and stayed there until Zayn al-'Ābidīn bin 'Alī stepped down, or, rather, fled the country. Ten days after Bin 'Alī's fall, the masses filled the thoroughfares of Egypt's major cities and demanded the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for 30 years. On 12 February 2011, after 18 days of stormy protests, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation and announced that Mubarak's powers had been transferred to him. This paper follows the Egyptian saga in the context of the new phenomenon taking place across the Arab world - citizen revolts. It does not address the protests by Islamic opposition groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood; instead, it offers case studies in social, economic, and ideological (one might even say, secular) contexts, not religious ones. It surveys the recent epoch-making events in the Nile region and compares them with violent demonstrations and riots in its past. The paper's importance lies in its examination of the role of the armed forces in each case and primarily in its investigation of the assertion that the broad-based uprisings seem to have written finis to the military's pivotal role in Arab states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-383
Number of pages19
JournalContemporary Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 Taylor & Francis


  • Arab Spring
  • Coup d'état
  • Egypt
  • Egyptian Army
  • Hosni Mubarak


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