Understanding who the poor are and what defines their level of deprivation is critical in the state's responsibility to its citizens. This thesis looks at how the Egyptian State targets the poor through the narrative of poverty during the last sixty years. While the state has historically addressed this issue within the broader context of societal welfare, it has not always specifically targeted the marginalized and vulnerable groups. The Egyptian State has transitioned from authoritarian socialism, to a rentier economy, and then to a free market state without upsetting the status quo of the ruling bureaucracy and state agents. Recently, it has tried to become a more welfare-oriented regime, attempting to cater to a population without really progressing or acknowledging the problem of poverty. This thesis aims to shed light on a particular relationshipâ the social contract between the impoverished and the state. I do this by examining how the problem of poverty in Egypt came to the government toward this particular group of people in order to understand some of the broader processes of poverty reduction, welfare, and social protection in Egypt.


Middle East Studies Center

Degree Name

MA in Middle East Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2011

First Advisor

Sholkamy, Hania



Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Welfare state -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Egypt -- Politics and government -- 21st century.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item