Can True Democracy Exist in Military-Dominated Egypt?
Was the ousting of democratically-elected Mohamed Morsy in Egypt a coup? Answering that question is clear, but not without a very clear qualification. It is a popularly legitimate coup — and focusing on it is now far less important than what comes next.
Of course, there is an argument against calling it a coup, which few seem to be considering at present. A coup is usually understood to be an action that replaces the authority of a civilian regime by a military one. If what happened in Egypt is considered to be a coup, it takes for granted that there was indeed a civilian regime that had absolute authority over the institutions of the state, and a military under complete civilian authority. That assertion in the context of the Egyptian political arena is questionable.
The Egyptian political reality, since 1952, has been indelibly imbued with the authority of the military establishment…
Dr H.A. Hellyer, a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, is a Cairo-based specialist on Arab affairs, and relations between the Muslim world and the west. Fellow at ISPU, he was previously senior practice consultant at Gallup, and senior research fellow at Warwick University. Find him online @hahellyer and www.hahellyer.com.