Egypt: Why Liberalism Still Matters

Issue Date January 2013
Volume 24
Issue 1
Page Numbers 86-100
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According to conventional Western wisdom, liberal ideas are unpopular among Egyptians, despite what some enthusiastic young people said in Tahrir Square in early 2011. Yet while it is true that social mores have become more conservative in Egypt in recent decades, it is not true that core liberal ideas are in retreat. On the contrary, the essentials of political liberalism—citizens’ rights, government accountability, the rule of law, limits on state power—have become so popular that the liberal ideological field has become crowded.