Q+A: Professor Joel Beinin on Egypt’s recent unrest

Historians in the News
tags: Egypt, Egyptian Revolution, Stanford Daily, Joel Beinin

Joel Beinin is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and a former Director of Middle East Studies at the American University in Cairo. As Egypt continues to grapple with the aftermath of a military-assisted popular uprising against the incumbent president, Beinin talked with The Daily about the recent events in Egypt, the role of the military in bringing about a change of government and how the transition may affect American foreign policy towards the African nation.

The Stanford Daily (TSD): What do you make of the recent events in Egypt?

Joel Beinin (JB): It’s not at all clear, first of all. What happened is a combination of a popular uprising — in a sense, a continuation of the popular uprising — and also a military coup. At the end of the day, even with billions of people in the street…the rebellion didn’t actually have any [ability] to [force out former President Mohamed] Morsi if he didn’t resign on his own. So they knew that they would have to rely on the army to do that, and they were okay with it. So it wasn’t your classic military coup where army officers or a group of army officers commune and decide that they’re going to take over the government and run it as they see fit. You can already see by who they have appointed as prime minister and other cabinet ministers…that it’s a lot more popular government than the outgoing cabinet of President Morsi....

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