The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square, a talk by Steven Cook, Council on Foreign Relations
A talk by Steven Cook from the Council on Foreign Relations about his new book, The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square. This talk is co-sponsored by the Burkle Center for International Relations, the Center for Near Eastern Studies & the Center for Middle East Development.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The recent revolution in Egypt has shaken the Arab world to its roots. The most populous Arab country and the historical center of Arab intellectual life, Egypt is a linchpin of the United States' Middle East strategy, traditionally receiving more aid than any nation except Israel. This is not the first time that the world has turned its gaze to Egypt, however. A half-century ago, Egypt under Nasser became the putative leader of the Arab world and a beacon for all developing nations. Yet in the decades prior to the 2011 revolution, Egypt was ruled by a sclerotic regime plagued by nepotism and corruption. In The Struggle for Egypt, Steven Cook explains how this parlous state of affairs came to be, why the revolution occurred, and where Egypt might be headed next. Although there is no way of knowing Egypt’s future trajectory—indeed, the struggle for Egypt continues—the detailed historical narrative provides readers with an understanding of the patterns of Egyptian politics that will help them make sense of the complex events unfolding in Egypt. Throughout Egypt's history, there has been an intense debate to define what Egypt is, what it stands for, and its relation to the world. Egyptians now have an opportunity to finally answer these questions. Doing so in a way that appeals to the vast majority of Egyptians, Cook notes, will be difficult but ultimately necessary if Egypt is to become an economically dynamic and politically vibrant society.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven A. Cook is the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Cook is the author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (Oxford University Press, Fall 2011) and Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).
He has published widely in a variety of foreign policy journals, opinion magazines, and newspapers including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, The Journal of Democracy, The Weekly Standard, Slate, The New Republic Online, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The International Herald Tribune, and Survival. Dr. Cook is also a frequent commentator on radio and television. He currently writes the blog, “From the Potomac to the Euphrates.”
Prior to joining CFR, Dr. Cook was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution (2001–2002) and a Soref research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1995–96). Dr. Cook holds a BA in international studies from Vassar College, an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and both an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks Arabic and Turkish and reads French.
Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012