Abstract

The largest Arab country, with a political life that has a broad pan-Arab resonance, Egypt saw between 2 and 4 million of its workers participate in some 3,400 to 4,000 strikes and other collective actions from 1998 to 2010, a movement sustained with no support from the state-sponsored Egyptian Trade Union Federation. Their movement provided numerous occasions for exercises in participatory democracy. When workers did begin to speak about politics, they did not limit themselves to formal democracy—free parliamentary elections and the rotation of power. They demanded substantive democracy: free trade unions and distributive social justice. These understandings of democracy were rarely articulated as a comprehensive political program by a recognized national leadership.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-768X
Print ISSN
0037-783X
Pages
pp. 323-348
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-30
Open Access
No
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