Why Egypt is furiously at war with itself

An Egyptian protester grabs a tear gas canister to throw back towards the riot police during clashes near the US embassy in Cairo on September 13, 2012. Photo/FILE

What you need to know:

  • With the fall of three strong men in North Africa during the Arab spring, many thought despotism was coming to an end but Egypt has dashed such hopes
  • Researchers have found that a number of key events can build trust in the political process in new democracies
  • Trust and support for democracy also tends to increase when the judiciary successfully prosecutes a leader known to be corrupt and when a president provides services to all citizens, not just those who voted for him

Building democracy is a long-term project. It is also a frustrating one. Years of a painstaking process can lead to only a tiny step forwards. A moment of madness can set the process back decades.


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