By Tamir Moustafa
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2007
Online Publication Date:July 2009
Subjects: Comparative Law
For nearly three decades, scholars and policymakers have placed
considerable stock in judicial reform as a panacea for the political
and economic turmoil plaguing developing countries. Courts are
charged with spurring economic development, safeguarding human rights,
and even facilitating transitions to democracy. How realistic are
these expectations, and in what political contexts can judicial
reforms deliver their expected benefits?
In The Struggle for Constitutional Power, Tamir Moustafa addresses these issues through an examination of the politics of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, the most important experiment in constitutionalism in the Arab World.
The Egyptian regime established a surprisingly independent constitutional court to address a series of economic and administrative pathologies that lie at the heart of authoritarian political systems. Although the Court helped the regime to institutionalize state functions, it simultaneously opened new avenues through which rights advocates and opposition parties could challenge the regime. The Struggle for Constitutional Powerexamines the dynamics of legal mobilization in this most unlikely political environment.
Standing at the intersection of political science, economics, and comparative law, The Struggle for Constitutional Powerchallenges conventional wisdom and provides new insights into perennial questions concerning the barriers to institutional development, economic growth, and democracy in the developing world.