Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Clements

Third Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

On February 11, 2011 following eighteen days of protest in Tahrir Square, Liberation Square in Egypt, President Mubarak was forced from office after thirty years as president. While the whirlwind of media, social and traditional, reported events in real time, providing an indication that it was those eighteen days that forced his ouster, the downfall of Hosni Mubarak has much deeper roots. My research investigates those roots, the deep-seated causes of the overthrow of a dictator. By examining the failures of the regime, particularly those of the past decade, and addressing those failures within the context of authoritarian consolidation and decay, and by applying them to the case study of Egypt, I have shown that although he appeared perpetually entrenched the Egyptian president was in fact vulnerable.

This study draws not only from the scholarly research that evaluates consolidation and collapse of authoritarian regimes; I have also relied on magazines, newspapers, and popular journals. In addition, I have cited reports from international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Finally, since social media played a pivotal role in consolidation of the opposition and the organization of the Tahrirprotests, I have examined journalists' reports of blogs, Facebook, and other pertinent social media, in order to provide more depth and reliability to this research.

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