This post forms part of a series where members of the Defence Studies Department share their thoughts on the books they are reading this summer. This post is by DR AMIR M KAMEL see more of his posts here, here and here.
The book: Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the US-Egyptian Alliance has provided for an interesting read this summer. Jason Brownlee’s analysis of US-Egypt ties from 1979 up until and including the 2011 Egyptian Revolution provides a well researched account of how Washington, DC implemented a policy in Cairo which ultimately led to the failure of democracy in the Middle Eastern state. Brownlee also attests that this policy continued in the post-Mubarak era.
Poignantly, Brownlee assesses how the White House continued to pursue its own interests of ensuring US presence and influence in the country, as well as prioritising broader regional security concerns over the self processed ‘promotion of democracy’ in Egypt. This is something which I have found to corroborate with some aspects of my research. Indeed, through the reading and analysis of primary sourced material and data, I have found that economic interests have also played a key part in Brownlee’s so called ‘democracy prevention’ thesis. Additionally, my findings have determined that it is not just ‘democracy’ which was affected by this relationship under Mubarak, but broader strategic and regional issues also.
That being said, Brownlee’s work provides a very apt and useful analysis of the contemporary US-Egyptian relationship, and a worthy read for scholars looking to understand the Egyptian environment in which the Washington, DC-Cairo relationship resided over the past three decades.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.