From Leader to Partner: Egypt’s Declining Role in the Arab System (1952 2020)

Elie Podeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Egypt’s Arab identity began to crystallize in the inter-war years (1919-1939) as Egyptians became increasingly aware of their cultural and linguistic affinity with the Arab world. After independence in 1936, Egypt gradually assumed an increasingly central role in the emerging Arab system, and in 1945 Cairo became home to the headquarters of the newly established Arab League. Over the years, Egypt’s central position in the Arab system was based on a combination of tangible assets such as military and human resources, and intangible ones such as geo-strategic location, regime legitimacy, domestic stability, pan-Arab ideology, cultural centrality, charismatic leadership, and a self-perception of Arab leadership. These attributes each weighed differently over time, yet their availability, coupled with Egypt’s readiness to use them to wield its influence, ensured Egypt’s central position in the Arab system.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationFrom the 1919 Revolution to the 2011 Arab Spring
Subtitle of host publicationA History of Three Egyptian Thawras Reconsidered
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003834809
ISBN (Print)9781032398273
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Uzi Rabi and Mira Tzoreff; individual chapters, the contributors.

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