Contrary to external appearances and official propaganda, the Egyptian Armed Forces are not a unified and cohesive actor, and Abdelfattah al-Sisi is far from being an undisputed leader. Rather, the military is a collective actor criss-crossed by rival networks which the President manages but does not control. While dramatic internal rifts are unlikely to occur, political challenges – for instance, an even further deterioration of the economy – may well change the calculus of relevant actors. Somewhat paradoxically, the ever-wider remit of military power may well carry the seed for substantial conflicts of interest leading to new coalitions and power equations. External actors should not confuse the current political atrophy with stability: in the medium term, internal competition will grow. If politics is banned and crowded out by military authoritarianism, then political conflict will penetrate into the core of «the military institution» itself.
Table of contents:
- Preface to the Series
- An institution under stress from within
- The revolution catches the gernerals off-guard
- Cracks at the top
- Sisi's purges
- Sisi unchallenged