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3 - Laying Neoliberal Foundations

Infitah and a New Egypt

from Part II - Hegemony and Its Afterlives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2020

Sara Salem
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

The third chapter traces the decline of Nasserist hegemony and the rise of a new ruling class and its project of infitah (literally translated to ‘opening’). Marking Egypt’s opening to global capital and the failure of state-led capitalist development, these years see the dominance of neoliberal restructuring and Westernization. I argue that while this ruling class did attempt to create hegemony, its project was weaker than the Nasserist project. Engaging in debates on the effects of neoliberalism in the Middle East, the chapter argues that it was this bloc that laid the foundations for Egypt’s neoliberal trajectory but failed to create a hegemonic project strong enough to maintain the same level of hegemony as the Nasser-led bloc and thus had to rely on transnational social and ideological forces in order to rule. The question of transnational capitalist development and its effects across postcolonial contexts frames this chapter, as I argue that there is a correlation between weakening hegemony and neoliberal restructuring. This era is thus understood through Fanon’s notion of a dependent bourgeoisie, as well as Gramsci’s notion of an interregnum, a period of transition.

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Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt
The Politics of Hegemony
, pp. 159 - 205
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Laying Neoliberal Foundations
  • Sara Salem, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt
  • Online publication: 10 April 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868969.004
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  • Laying Neoliberal Foundations
  • Sara Salem, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt
  • Online publication: 10 April 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868969.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Laying Neoliberal Foundations
  • Sara Salem, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt
  • Online publication: 10 April 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868969.004
Available formats
×