Re-release: 'The Strong Regime and The Weak State' by Samer Soliman

Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Jun 2013

Soliman's book discusses the financial challenges faced by the Mubarak regime in its struggle to protect itself at the unsupportable cost of Egyptians' welfare

Book cover

Al nezam al qawy wal dawla al dae'ifa (The Strong Regime and The Weak State) by Samer Soliman, Cairo: General Organisation for Cultural Palaces, 2013.

The book by the late scholar and writer, Samer Soliman, was re-published by the Egyptian General Organisation for Cultural Palaces, including a new post-revolution introduction by the author. Political Science chair at the American University, Professor Clement Henry also reviewed the original 2004 text.

The full title:  The Fiscal Crisis and the Political Change in Egypt Under Mubarak, reveals throughout six chapters and a lengthy introduction, an analysis of the Egyptian state budget and how the dictatorship state failed to sustain itself through taxes, preferring instead to borrow internally and distribute the wealth for self-sustainment and to strengthen their regime. This led the way, however, to corruption that weakened the state apparatus, eventually causing the build-up of anger that Soliman registered as unsupportable.

Originally submitted as a thesis for his PhD at the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris in 2004, it was translated into Arabic and published in 2005 by Dar Merit and later 2006 by Al-Dar Publishing House. The English-language edition was published by Stanford University Press in 2011 under the title Autumn of Dictatorship and included an epilogue added by Soliman during the first 18 days of the Egyptian revolution of 2011.

Soliman was an associate professor of political economy at the American University in Cairo. He previously worked as an affiliated researcher at the CEDEJ (Centre d'etudes et de documentations economiques, juridiques et sociales) in Cairo. He also was one of the founders of and worked at the Egyptian state-run newspaper in French, Al-Ahram Hebdo, beginning in 1994. He worked as a journalist with Ahram Online and was a contributor in other publications, including El-Bosla, El-Watan and El-Shorouk newspapers.

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