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

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 12, 2009 - History - 328 pages
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For nearly three decades, scholars and policymakers have placed considerable stock in judicial reform as a panacea for the political and economic turmoil plaguing developing countries. Courts are charged with spurring economic development, safeguarding human rights, and even facilitating transitions to democracy. How realistic are these expectations, and in what political contexts can judicial reforms deliver their expected benefits?

In The Struggle for Constitutional Power, Tamir Moustafa addresses these issues through an examination of the politics of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, the most important experiment in constitutionalism in the Arab World.

The Egyptian regime established a surprisingly independent constitutional court to address a series of economic and administrative pathologies that lie at the heart of authoritarian political systems. Although the Court helped the regime to institutionalize state functions, it simultaneously opened new avenues through which rights advocates and opposition parties could challenge the regime. The Struggle for Constitutional Powerexamines the dynamics of legal mobilization in this most unlikely political environment.

Standing at the intersection of political science, economics, and comparative law, The Struggle for Constitutional Powerchallenges conventional wisdom and provides new insights into perennial questions concerning the barriers to institutional development, economic growth, and democracy in the developing world.

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

User Review  - Jeremy - Goodreads

A smart book. Forces you think more deeply about the interaction between law, authoritarianism, and economic development. Read full review

About the author (2009)

Tamir Moustafa is Associate Professor of International Studies and Jarislowsky Chair in Religion and Cultural Change at Simon Fraser University. His research stands at the intersection of comparative law and courts, religion and politics,and state-society relations, all with a regional focus on the Middle East. He was the recipient of the Edward S. Corwin Award for the Best Dissertation in Public Law from the American Political Science Association (2004) and the Best Dissertation Award from the Western Political Science Association (2004).

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