Labor and the State in Egypt


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Workers, Unions, and Economic Restructuring

By Marsha Pripstein Posusney
Columbia University Press

Bringing to light the often overlooked effect of workers’ collective actions in shaping public policy, Labor and the State in Egypt surveys the relationships of workers and trade unions to the state in Egypt.

Labor and the State in Egypt begins with the 1952 coup against the British-backed monarchy which established military rule and brought Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasir to power.  Tracing the evolution of labor in the political economy of Egypt after the coup, Marsha Pripstein Posusney combines an interpretive analysis of workers’ positions on economic issues with an institutional study of union behavior.  The book analyzes the dual, sometimes overlapping roles of labor as both a basis of support and legitimacy for Egypt’s authoritarian regimes and a platform for challenging government initiatives.

Posusney’s analysis includes an insight into the rise of a union confederation and the etatist economy enshrined in the socialist rhetoric of Nasir’s rule, and a focus on labor’s opposition to the initial attempts at the undoing of etatism in 1973 through mid-1996, when the government was poised to launch privatization on a large scale.  Here, Posusney argues that the trade union movement should shift attention from national policies to workplace issues that will now more directly affect workers’ lives.

A significant contribution to the scholarship on economic and political reform in developing countries, Labor and the State in Egypt is a major account of the significance of social forces in shaping economic development, even when those forces are separated from partisan political participation.

Additional information

Weight 15.7 oz
Dimensions 8.75 × 5.75 × 0.75 in


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