The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt

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The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

judicial politics
human rights
authoritarian rule
economic development

For nearly three decades, scholars and policymakers have placed considerablestock in judicial reform as a panacea for the political and economic turmoil plagu-ing developing countries. Courts are charged with spurring economic develop-ment, safeguarding human rights, and even facilitating transitions to democracy.How realistic are these expectations, and in what political contexts can judicialreforms deliver their expected benefits? In this book, Tamir Moustafa addressesthese issues through an examination of the politics of the Egyptian SupremeConstitutional Court, the most important experiment in constitutionalism in theArab world.

The Egyptian regime established a surprisingly independent constitutional court to address a series of economic and administrative pathologies that lie at theheart of authoritarian political systems. Although the Court helped the regime toinstitutionalize state functions and attract investment, it simultaneously openednew avenues through which rights advocates and opposition parties could chal-lenge the regime. The book examines the dynamics of legal mobilization in thismost unlikely political environment.

Standing at the intersection of political science, economics, and comparativelaw, The Struggle for Constitutional Power challenges conventional wisdom andprovides new insights into perennial questions concerning the barriers to institu-tional development, economic growth, and democracy in the developing world.

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