Urban Egypt: On the Road from Revolution to the State? Governance, the Built Environment, and Social Justice

Ibrahim, Kareem, and Diane Singerman. “Urban Egypt: On the Road from Revolution to the State? Governance, the Built Environment, and Social Justice.” Égypte/Monde arabe 11 (2014).

Three years after the Egyptian revolution, demands for social justice continue to be articulated but remain largely unfulfilled. Many of those demands revolve around the need for urban development, including more equitable spatial distribution of public services, further democratization of planning processes and local government, and urban development policies which serve the general public, rather than wealthy residents, foreign investors, or real estate speculators. Unfortunately, the current urban local administrative system lacks representativeness and does not allow for local participation. More recently, there have been a growing number of mobilized initiatives that are searching for ways to build a more reciprocal relationship between urban communities and the state. Yet the government remains ambivalent to further democratize local administration and local politics and increase representation at the local level, and continues to design and implement plans that do not address the urban challenges affecting the daily lives of millions of Egyptians. Building on the work of “TADAMUN: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative,” and in light of global experiences in participatory local governance, this article argues that reforming local government through institutionalizing communication channels between citizens and the state and broadening their engagement through coalitions, creating new channels for government accountability and responsiveness, and providing more equitable services, may help meet the demands for social injustice generated by the 2011 Revolution and consolidate the democratic process in Egypt.


Access online at Égypte/Monde arabe.



Publication Type Journal article
Publisher Égypte/Monde arabe
Year 2014
Author(s) Kareem Ibrahim and Diane Singerman.
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