The 25th of January revolution, was the mark of an extraordinary event in the history of Egypt. Mass mobilizations of people in the capital; Cairo, and many big cities such as; Alexandria, and neighboring governorates went down marching in the streets calling for the toppling of the Mubarak regime. Intense struggle between the people and security forces, has left the country with a wide security gap. The security gap as a result made way to a very significant phenomenon all over the country known as; “Al-Legaan Al-Sha’abeya” or “Popular defense committees”. The Popular defense committees resembled informal-ties that brought together residents of defined neighbourhoods to collectively protect their neighborhoods, their families, and their properties during intense days of violence on Egyptian streets. However, with security relatively restored after the toppling of the Mubarak regime, these Popular defense committees dropped the ‘defense’ or ‘security’ element they used to play, changing its name and function to another protective duty, but this time protecting the revolution. They formed what came to be known as “Al-Legaan Al-Sha’abeya Lel Defa’a ‘An Al-Thawra” or “Popular Committees for the Defense of the Revolution”. Adopting four case studies of popular committees of; ‘Mit Oqba’, ‘Imbaba, Mohandessin, Dokki and Agouza’, and ‘Maadi’ in this thesis, this thesis thus attempts to find out to what extent these informal-ties represented in the popular committees that were first built during moments of security gap help later to consolidate the stock of social capital, and how this might possible affect development in the future. The thesis finds out that the popular committees represented more of formal associations rather than those representing informal ties; the majority of the activities that were carried out by the Popular Committees were political, and the developmental impact that might result as of such could be promising on the long run indeed. However, the low level of other activities (of social or economic dimensions) observed is a drawback. Also, certain limitations represented in lack of motivation elements, and financial resources, were great hindering factors to the developmental impact the popular committees could have brought about, and thus little impact in its addition to the existing stock of social capital.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

First Advisor

Al-Sayyid, Mustapha Kamel

Committee Member 1

Henry, Clement

Committee Member 2

Nadine Sika

Document Type



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