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date: 12 June 2024

Egypt and Tunisia: Political Control of the Military Under Mubarak and Ben Alilocked

Egypt and Tunisia: Political Control of the Military Under Mubarak and Ben Alilocked

  • Risa A. BrooksRisa A. BrooksAllis Chalmers Associate Professor of Political Science, Marquette University

Summary

Civil–military relations varied dramatically in Egypt and Tunisia under their former dictators, Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abedine Ben Ali. The leaders relied on alternative strategies of political control to accommodate the military to their rule and maintain themselves in office. Mubarak forged a grand bargain with his senior officers, while Ben Ali sought to contain the military. These strategies had important implications for how they met the imperatives of autocratic civil–military relations—keeping the military from engaging in coups and ensuring it would defend them against societal opponents, while retaining the latitude to govern. The cases illustrate the importance of studying variation in patterns of civil–military relations independently of regime type and of examining the overarching logics through which political leaders control the military.

Subjects

  • Contentious Politics and Political Violence
  • Governance/Political Change

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