Anatomy of the Egyptian Counterrevolution

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2014-8-91-100

A. Korotaev, National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation (
L. Isaev, National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The authors analyze roots, causes and implications of both major political events that took place in Egypt in the last three years, namely the Tahrir Revolution of 2011 and what they call the Counterrevolution of 2013. Focus of the article is on the role of the military and the Islamists. The young educated democrats of middle class who initiated the revolution in 2011 under the slogans of combatting autocratic and corrupt government were joined by the poverty-stricken population of Cairo, by the desolate and unemployed and – what was especially important – by the Muslim Brotherhood. This combination of forces proved too strong for the army and government, Mubarak had to resign. But the urban poor who played a decisive role in the victory of the revolution had always been under a very strong influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, so it was inevitable that free and fair elections would bring the Islamists to power. Moursi became President. The Islamists, however, made a number of grave mistakes while in power, and the old elites, both economic and military/bureaucratic, did their best to sabotage the government policy. At last the army (supported by the Egyptian economic elites) came on top, so both the Muslim Brothers and the young secular democrats have lost.

Keywords: Egypt, Army, Muslim Brotherhood, Economic Elite, Revolution, Counterrevolution, al-Sisi, Moursi, Islamists, Mubarak, Saudi Arabia, Qatar

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For citation:
Korotaev A., Isaev L. Anatomy of the Egyptian Counterrevolution . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2014, no. 8, pp. 91-100.

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