The paper presents a model of regime transition in which inequality and the mobility of capital are the key analytical dimensions as they influence the likelihood of survival of democratic settings once they have been established. These concepts are applied to Egypt and Libya, currently experiencing political turmoil. Other things being equal, if democratic institutions were to appear following popular revolts in Libya and Egypt, the idiosyncratic characteristics of these two economies make their survival more difficult for the former than the latter. Although both countries have experienced decades-long autocracies, Egypt has managed to diversify its productive activities in a way that has created mobile capital in sectors such as services and manufactory. On the other hand, Libya still relies almost completely on its natural resources, a highly fixed kind of capital. Given levels of equality resulting from redistributive policies under more representative institutions, the differences in the kind of capital endowments will make it a harder journey for the consolidation of democratic settings in Libya than in Egypt.
How to Cite:
Alfonso, F., 2012. Regime Transitions and Redistribution: Prospects for a Stable Democracy in Egypt and Libya. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 1(1), pp.98–106.