Edited by Andrew Massey and Karen Johnston
Chapter 7: The political economy of administrative reforms in Egypt: governance, reforms and challenges
This chapter focuses on public administration reforms and governance in Egypt. As was the case with many other emerging economies, reforming state machinery and public bodies has been regarded as a means for achieving broader social and economic developmental goals in Egypt. Consequently, the Egyptian administrative system has been subject to different reform initiatives aiming at changing structures, functions and cultures of Egyptian public organizations. The features and main characteristics of each administrative reform programme were greatly shaped by the overall socioeconomic and political context, as well as the prevailing vision and ideological views about the role of the state in the society. The state–society relationship, in terms of the role of the state in social and economic spheres, has been redefined several times since the revolution of 1952, based on the dominant political ideology. At least three different models can be identified in the modern history of Egypt: a welfare state model in 1952–70; a mixed state–market model in 1970–81; and a regulatory state model from 1981 to the present. The socialist era of President Nasser, 1952–70, was characterized by an ever-growing role of the state in economic and social domains. The function of the state at that time was defined as to re-engineer and restructure the Egyptian society in order to achieve social equity and economic development.
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