How did the Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly following Egypt’s dramatic 2011 Arab Spring uprising? Why did the Brotherhood fall from power even more quickly, culminating with the overthrow of Egypt’s first elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013?
Eric Trager examines the Brotherhood’s decision-making throughout this critical period. Based on interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager argues that the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to its rapid downfall. The Brotherhood’s intensive process for recruiting members and its rigid nationwide chain of command meant that it possessed unparalleled mobilizing capabilities for winning the first post-Mubarak parliamentary and presidential elections, but its hierarchical organizational culture alienated many Egyptians, including many within Egypt’s state institutions.