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Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt

Tamir Moustafa

School for International Studies


Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 28, pp. 883-930

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: Judicial Politics, Judicialization of Politics, Law, Supreme Constitutiional Court of Egypt, Egypt

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Date posted: February 1, 2010 ; Last revised: August 25, 2013

Suggested Citation

Moustafa, Tamir, Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt (2003). Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 28, pp. 883-930. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1545404

Contact Information

Tamir Moustafa (Contact Author)
School for International Studies ( email )
Simon Fraser University
7200-515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5K3
HOME PAGE: http://www.sfu.ca/internationalstudies/moustafa.html
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