NGO Policy in Pre-and Post-Mubarak Egypt: Effects on NGOs' Roles in Democracy Promotion

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26 Scopus citations


This article examines the Egyptian government's evolving policy toward Egypt's NGO sector and its effects on organizations' efforts to support democratic political reform. The January 25, 2011 uprisings that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak seemed to present an opportunity for Egypt's NGO sector to break free from decades of government co-optation and repression and lead Egyptian civil society's political reform efforts. NGOs did initiate democracy promotion projects immediately following the uprisings, and for a few months it seemed that NGOs would be torchbearers of political reform. By the summer of 2014, however, NGO employees were predicting the looming "death of civil society"in Egypt. Drawing upon data from over 90 interviews, this article analyzes the ways in which authoritarian adaptation, through both discourse and policy toward the NGO sector, constrained NGOs' capacities to advance political reform efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-212
Number of pages24
JournalNonprofit Policy Forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Egypt
  • NGO policy
  • democratic transition
  • government-NGO relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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