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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Professor of Public Policy and Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman Professor of International Relations

Abstract

For the enormous crowds who gathered in Tahrir Square over the past few days, the military’s announcement abrogating the new constitution and deposing Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Muhammad Morsi, is a second revolution, a replay of the ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarak three years ago. For the pro-Morsi crowds gathered in a much smaller square in a North Cairo suburb, the move, followed by the installation of an interim government, is a coup. This seems to be the view of most Western commentators as well, for whom the military's actions fit into a tidy narrative of Egypt as a military–garrison state, long ruled by generals who viewed the rise of an elected president as a threat to their power and privileges. But this gets the situation almost exactly backward. President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood allies never represented a threat to the military's interests.

Citation

Dobson, William J., and Tarek Masoud. "Egypt’s Reluctant Rulers." Slate, July 4, 2013.