Revolutions are difficult to understand, let alone predict. Egypt’s revolt last year was no exception. The military’s abandonment of Mubarak confused many observers, who had always assumed that the leader and the generals stood or fell together. But as the violence of the transitional period discredited the armed forces, academics fell back in relief on the same age-old assumptions about officers who rule from behind the scenes and change the figures on stage to preserve the status quo.
In a challenge to this conventional view, Hazem Kandil presents the revolt as the latest episode in an ongoing power struggle between the three components of Egypt’s authoritarian regime: the military, the security services and the political apparatus. Through a detailed study of the interactions within this invidious triangle over six decades of war, conspiracies, and sociopolitical transformations, the book presents the first systematic analysis of how Egypt metamorphosed from a military to a police state, and what that means for the future of its revolution.