Competing Rather than Collaborating: Egyptian Nongovernmental Organizations in Turbulence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article examines how the Egyptian government produced a legal, regulatory, and operational environment designed to "divide and throttle"the country's NGO sector. We identify a two-pronged government strategy toward the NGO sector-namely, flooding the field and bureaucratic overload-the effect of which was to fragment and weaken the sector and prevent it from forming an effective oppositional bloc. We furthermore argue that this government strategy promoted competition rather than cooperation among NGOs. Organizations espoused competing strategic visions for the sector that divided organizations into camps of "charity,""development,"and "advocacy."The ultimate consequence of this competition was a sector of NGOs that, instead of valuing pluralism and building upon diverse comparative advantages to create sector-wide strength, belittled each other and failed to coalesce. Egypt's NGO sector became a tool of the state rather than a force for collective empowerment or a voice for societal change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-407
Number of pages19
JournalNonprofit Policy Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Egypt
  • NGO
  • nonprofit competition
  • state-NGO relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


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