Eric Trager

  • Fellowship Dates 2011-2011
  • Research Topic Political Party Formation and Competition in Egypt, 1919-76
  • Fellow or Grant Type Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Affiliation Pre-doctoral candidate University of Pennsylvania

Political scientists have long recognized the importance of political party dynamics to explaining political outcomes. Yet, despite the presence of competitive elections in a number of Middle Eastern states, there have been few attempts to analyze these party systems historically. Recent studies of Egyptian politics have largely emphasized other catalysts of political contestation, examining civil society and Islamic social movements and downplaying the significance of political parties, party leaders and platforms.

This research bridges this gap in the literature by examining the Egyptian party system historically, assessing how various modes of party formation affect electoral competitiveness. Prior works on Egyptian political history have noted the origins of various parties but did not capture political continuities between the pre and post-revolutionary eras, nor have recent works on Egyptian politics addressed the dynamics of party formation in depth. This research examines the three distinctive party formation processes that occurred under both the former Egyptian monarchy and under the Sadat government: the emergence of political parties from elite mobilization, parties founded by the ruler and parties that emerge through interactions between independent elites and the regime. The study examines political party modes formation through newspaper coverage, party platforms, campaign strategies and mobilization efforts and their variations. This research contributes to a growing literature on “hybrid regimes” – polities in which non-democratic governing institutions exist alongside formally democratic institutions such as elections, a relatively free press and an independent judiciary.

TopicsHistory, Political ScienceThemePeople & SocietyHistoric PeriodModern


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