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Pattern of Islamist Activism in Egypt: Structural Correlations and Relative Deprivation

Brown, Cody M.
This project explores the structural contributors to the rise of Islamist activism in Egypt in the 1970s by working out of the theoretical framework of relative deprivation. This paper explains how the modernizing reforms in Egypt during the Nasser regime contributed to an increase in value expectations and value capabilities among the Egyptian populace. This attempt at broad modernization laid the groundwork for mass participation in politics and the mobilized, political discontent that emerged during the economic crises of the 1970s. The reduction of state services during the infitah was replaced by charitable organizations from the Islamic sector of Egyptian society. By replacing the services of the state, the Islamist movement was able to capitalize on public dissatisfaction towards Egypt's leaders, and orient large swaths of the Egyptian public towards the Islamist ideology.