The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance

Tue, September 18, 2012

Jason Brownlee’s new book explains how the United States has chosen security over democracy in Egypt, thereby adding to our understanding of authoritarian durability by demonstrating the means through which international support may contribute to robust authoritarianism.

In “Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance,” Brownlee shows how the United States and Egypt have promoted an autocratic security state supporting a U.S.-led regional order around Israeli security and projecting American influence over the Persian Gulf. The security norms at the base of this alliance presuppose the suppression of popular sovereignty, as the strategic vision has depended on autocratic continuity.

Brownlee argues that U.S. support has helped sustain authoritarian rule in Egypt through support for Egyptian national defense (protecting Egypt from foreign threats), subsidizing the military (“coup-proofing”), providing macroeconomic stability, for example through infrastructure projects, food subsidies, and debt forgiveness, as well as supporting domestic repression by helping Egypt strengthen and expand its security services.

Cover of Democracy Prevention


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