Neoliberal Reform and Socio-Structural Reconfiguration in Cairo's Popular Quarters: The Rise of the Lesser Notables in Misr Al Qadima

Funding Sponsor

Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs

Author's Department

Sociology, Egyptology & Anthropology Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Mediterranean Politics

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Throughout the post-1952 era, political patrons and their respective clients have played a considerable role in shaping the features of the Egyptian polity. This paper focuses on the socio-structural reconfiguration that has been taking place in the popular communities with the crystallization of neoliberal policies. Based on fieldwork in the popular quarters of Misr al-Qadima, the paper examines the socio-economic and political roles of the 'lesser notables', those middle patrons and clients that existed on the lower levels of the Egyptian polity within the ranks of the now dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), as intermediaries in the realm of state-society relations. By drawing linkages between the micro-level features of the popular polities of Cairo and the macro-level realities of the Egyptian polity at large, the paper reflects on the influence of neoliberal reforms on the scope and magnitude of political patronage in Cairo. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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