A Political Settlements Lens onto Egypt’s Critical Junctures and Cyclic Violence (2011–2014)
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While there is a copious body of literature explaining Egypt’s political trajectory post-Mubarak through the lens of democratisation and transition theory, this paper argues that by using a political settlements lens, a less linear reading of the events can be offered, which highlights several attempts through both peaceful and violent means of arriving at negotiated agreements. The paper analyses the forging of three political settlements, one informal (2011) and two formal (2012, 2013) following the demise of the Mubarak regime in Egypt and the influence of intrinsic, instrumental and resultant violence on power configurations. It argues that the formal political settlement forged in Egypt in 2013 following the ousting of President Morsi cannot be read independently of the exclusionary outcomes of the informal political settlement forged in 2011 and the demise of the Fairmont Agreement of 2012. The paper relies on empirical data, including survey and focus groups undertaken in 2013–2014, complemented with secondary literature in Arabic and English.