The Battle over a Civil State

Egypt's Road to June 30, 2013

Limor Lavie
eISBN-13: 9781438470443

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How is the concept of the civil state understood in Arab countries? In The Battle over a Civil State, Limor Lavie examines how this important concept, which originated in Western philosophy, became incorporated into Arab discourse. The civil state as understood in Arab political discourse, Lavie argues, attempts to bridge Islamic history and culture with modernity. It is an attempt to forge a middle ground between a purely theocratic rule and a purely secular rule, and a solution for the tensions between a desire to catch up with global modernization and democratization processes and the desire to reject those same processes. In the political discourse of most of the Arab Spring countries, the concept of the civil state played a pivotal role. In the public debate over the character of Egypt, in particular, following the January 25, 2011 uprising, the demand to establish a civil state was shared by all the political currents. However, when these currents sought to set out basic guidelines for Egypt's future, it soon became clear that they were far from reaching a consensus, and that the concept of the civil state was at the heart of the controversy between them. The struggle over Egypt's civil character in the post-Mubarak era was the main reason for the turbulence the country experienced on June 30, 2013—leading to the ouster of President Muhammad Mursi.

ISBNs 9781438470443, 1438470444, 9781438470436
Language English
Number of Pages 252