Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The Politics of Egypt: State-Society Relationship. Culture, Egypt, Foreign Cultural Relations, .. society in a variety of ways, thus reducing the people's. The Politics of Egypt: State-Society Relationship. by Fahmy, Ninette S. The Politics of Egypt: State-Society Relationship. by Fahmy, Ninette S. eBook: Document. This course is a survey of political institutions and processes in selected Middle East countries. The Politics of Egypt: State-Society Relationship. London, UK.
Image courtesy British Museum. Old Kingdom rulers built the first pyramids, which were both tombs and monuments for the kings who had them built. Building monumental architecture, such as the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx in Giza, and temples for different gods required a centralized government that could command vast resources. Great Sphinx of Giza mythical creature with a human head and a lion's body and the pyramid of Khafre. The tourists in the photo look like specks compared to these structures.
Great Sphinx of Giza and the pyramid of Khafre. The people in the photo give you a sense of how large the structure is! Ancient Civilizations-Enlightenment Boundless, 19 Nov.
Ancient Egyptian civilization (article) | Khan Academy
These peasants worked alongside specialists like stone cutters, mathematicians, and priests. As a form of taxation, each household was required to provide a worker for these projects, although the wealthy could pay a substitute. This demonstrates both the power of the state to force people to provide labor and also the advantages enjoyed by elites, who could buy their way out of providing labor.
Egyptians also began to build ships, constructed of wooden planks tied together with rope and stuffed with reeds, to trade goods such as ebony, incense, gold, copper, and Lebanese cedar—which was particularly important for construction projects—along maritime routes.
Egyptian painting of a ship with passengers and crew. Egyptian ship, circa BCE. Ships like this would have been used on typical trading voyages.
From the Middle Kingdom forward, Egyptian kings often kept well-trained standing armies. The ability of the Egyptian state to create and maintain a standing military force and to build fortifications showed that it had regained control of substantial resources.
Political fragmentation led to the Second Intermediate Period. The precise dates are unclear; even though writing allowed for more events to be recorded, most things still were not, and many more records have been lost or destroyed. They were a Semitic people, meaning they spoke a language that originated in the Middle East, which indicated that they were not native to Egypt.
The Hyksos imposed their own political rulers but also brought many cultural and technological innovations, such as bronze working and pottery techniques, new breeds of animals and new crops, the horse and chariot, the composite bow, battle-axes, and fortification techniques for warfare. This period was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.
She also ordered repairs to temples that had been neglected or damaged during the period of Hyksos rule. Photo of Hatshepsut's Temple at the base of a large rock formation. The temple is rectangular with three tiers and a wide ramp in the center. At the top tier, set furthest back into the rock formation, there are statues placed in front of columns.
All of the columns and doorways are long and rectangular. The term pharaoh, which originally referred to the king's palace, became a form of address for the king himself during this period, further emphasizing the idea of divine kingship.
Religiously, the pharaohs associated themselves with the god Amun-Ra, while still recognizing other deities.
The Politics of Egypt: State-Society Relationship
In the mids BCE, one pharaoh attempted to alter this tradition when he chose to worship Aten exclusively and even changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of that god. Some scholars interpret this as the first instance of monotheism, or the belief in a single god.
New Kingdom Egypt reached the height of its power under the pharaohs Seti I and Ramesses II, who fought to expand Egyptian power against the Libyans to the west and the Hittites to the north. Hittite empire is colored in red and Egyptian empire is colored in green.
Kadesh is the city right on the boundary between the two. Taking advantage of this political division, a military force from the Nubian kingdom of Kush in the south conquered and united Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, and Kush. The Kushites were then driven out of Egypt in BCE by the Assyrians, who established a client state—a political entity that is self-governing but pays tribute to a more powerful state—in Egypt. The country experienced a period of peace and prosperity until BCE, when the Persian king Cambyses defeated the Egyptian rulers and took the title of Pharaoh for himself along with his title as king of Persia.
What do you think? Why was the Nile River essential to Egyptian civilization? How might a writing system like hieroglyphics have helped rulers gain and maintain political power?
What was one difference between common people and elites? How did rulers use religion to support their positions?The Future of Islam in Egyptian Politics - Dr. Jonathan Brown (Starts 5:05)
Examples of these laws include the promulgation of the anti-protest law on 24 November — which imposes a series of restrictions on peaceful demonstrations and sanctions several years in prison — as well as the promulgation of the NGO law on 29 Maywhich constrained the work of NGOs and their funding possibilities in Egypt.
The second pillar is control of the media, concretized through the exploitation of the security forces to gain influence over some private media channels so as to deter individuals who adopt oppositional voices or critical stances. The third pillar has to do with the use of repression against potential activists, a method which has now returned on a larger scale.
Besides eliminating all forms of opposition, the regime also has not allowed for any elite-based channels of mediation. While the Mubarak regime relied on a ruling party, the National Democratic Party NDP as a tool of governance on the national and local level as well as a channel for mediation with the society — whether in the legislative instances such as the parliament or through networks of clientelism and patronage in the municipalities — the current regime, in contrast, has refused to create such a mediator from the outset.
This became apparent during the Al-Warraq Island crisis in mid Julywhen the regime found itself in a social conflict with one segment of society, namely the inhabitants of Al-Warraq island. Here, there were no mediation channels in place, neither to resolve the conflict nor to negotiate with the people. The government decided to exploit the advantageous location of this island of 60, residents on the Nile river in the northern part of Cairo by razing the slum area and turning it into a resort.
Without entering into any previous negotiations with the inhabitants, security forces entered al-Warraq and began destroying homes which the governement deemed to have been illegaly constructed. A confrontation with the security forces ensued and one inhabitant died, leading to an outbreak of demonstrations. An important outcome of this was that Al-Dahab Island also situated on the Nile subsequently organized a demonstration in solidarity with the residents of Al-Warraq on 21 Julyshowing how a small-scale protest can easily escalate and tip the scale s oncepeople become cognitively aware of the similar situation they find themselves in.
They recall the the period under Morsi, during which protests were directed against attemplts by the Muslim Brotherhood to establish control over state and society, resulting in a state of continuous disfunctionality and even paralysis. These dynamics of contention ended with the uprising on 30 Junewhich was followed by a military intervention on 3 July that paved the way for the establishement of the Al-Sisi regime.
Accordingly, the latter has built a basis of support based on on its capacity to restore order and protect the Egyptian state from a similar fate of other countries in the region. Nationalism was thus used to rally support for the regime. Though there has historically existed a conflict between these two states in regards to the islands, Saudi Arabia agreed to let Egypt establish its sovereignty over the islands since the s and to protect them.
Large segments of Egyptian society believe that this deal was made in return for economic support and consider this to be humiliating and inacceptable. This stance was confirmed by the numerous protests that erupted, during which protestors held placards mentioning: The agreement on the new demarcation of the maritime border between Egypt and Saudi Arabia — ratified by the Egyptian president just a few days before the increase of the prices on fuel and electircity by the end of June — occured in the context of the ongoing deterioration of the socio-economic conditions.