This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to investigate the role of power relations in economic and political development or transformation by tracing the development of the modern state in Egypt (1805–2005), but also by focusing on the period 1990–2005. The book argues that it is power relations that have been a prime cause in the unfolding of Egypt's trajectory during the last two centuries. It adopts a structural approach to examining power relations in developing nations. It contends that it is the political structure that is the dominant structure in third world social systems and that power relations, particularly between elite factions, are responsible for the development of the economy, democracy, the ruling elite's ideology, and gender relations. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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