IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Arabs Want Redistribution, So Why Don't They Vote Left? Theory and Evidence from Egypt

  • Masoud, Tarek

    (Harvard University)

Registered author(s):

    Though Egyptian voters clearly evince a desire for Islamic law (however defined), public opinion research shows that they also want robust welfare states and significant redistribution. Though the application of Islamic law is the special province of Islamist parties, it is left-leaning, labor-based parties who are the primary champions of the economic policies that Egyptians seem to desire. Why, then, do Egyptian voters select the former over the latter? This article argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the bureaucratic and organizational shortcomings of leftist parties, but in the ways in which the social landscape shapes the opportunities of parties in newly democratized systems to reach potential voters. Dense networks of religious solidary organizations, in which Islamist activists are often embedded, and which encompass large numbers of voters, provide Islamist parties with opportunities for linkage that are unavailable to leftists, who are embedded in much more limited networks of labor activism. As a result, despite the fact that Islamist attitudes toward redistribution and the state's role in providing welfare are more ambiguous than those of leftists, Islamist candidates have far greater opportunities to convince voters that they in fact share their economic views. The theory is tested with a combination of aggregate and individual evidence from Egypt after the Arab Spring.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=8962&type=WPN
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp13-007.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Apr 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-007
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
    Fax: 617-496-2554
    Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.