Is Egypt Ready for a Democracy?

Friday, February 04, 2011

A supporter of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak carries his daughter on his shoulder during a pro-regime demonstration in Cairo on February 2, 2011. (Getty)

Omar Khalifa, the managing director at Egypt’s O Media told The Takeaway that, although he believes in freedom, he feels that his country is not yet ready for a Democratic government. But is a country ever ready for the messiness of democracy?

To answer that question we speak to Al Stepan, director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion at Columbia University, where he studies the theory behind transitions toward democracy. We also speak with Pauline Maier, The William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History at MIT. Maier is the author of “Ratification: The People Debate the Consitution 1787-1788," and she tells us the fears and ingredients that went into building the American democracy.


Pauline Maier and Alfred Stepan

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [1]


It is fatuous in the extreme to compare Egypt to the American Revolution which was overthrowing a foreign power. Eastern Europe in 1989 is likewise an odd comparison since a political system like communism was imposed for decades by a foreign power. Sorry intellectuals.....we keep returning to the Iranian Revolution and the year 1979 in Iran which began with feminist marches and ended with the take over of the US Embassy.

The one issue that unifies all segments of Egyptian society including the army is animosity toward Israel and the media refuses to acknowledge that in its euphoria.

Feb. 04 2011 09:47 AM

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