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El-Hadidy, Mohamed Alaa (1985) Mustafa al-Nahhas: A case study of Egyptian political leadership. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Nahhâs' rise to the leadership of the Wafd and the national movement reflected the rise of a new social force in Egyptian society and politics, the urban, middle-class professionals, especially the lawyers. This group, which first adopted the ideology of the Watani Party under the leadership of Mustafa Kâmil at the turn of the century, would soon shift its ideological orientation towards the ideology of the Umma Party controlled by its rural landowner supporters, and join forces under the leadership of Saâd Zaghlul and the newly-created Wafd Party. Nahhâs was soon to clash with the landowners, and his political career would be marked inside the Party by a continuous struggle of his wing for the domination of the Party, partly achieved in 1927 by his election, and then by the defection of the rival wing in 1932. The policy of the Party under the leadership of Nahhâs towards the British and the Palace reflected the inner balance of power between the two wings. The landowners being defeated by the lawyers in the elections brought about by the 1923 Constitution, would abandon their Umma ant-autocratic principles, while Nahhâs, the ex-Watani adherent, would implement the Umma's concept of co-operation with the British to achieve gradual independence, while at the same time curtailing the power of the Palace for a more constitutional representative government. In this light we can understand the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian treaty and the Palace incident of 4 February 1942. It was with the rise of a new urban middle class after World War II and the decline of Nahhâs as a representative of this group by bringing into the leadership ranks of the Wafd a landowner, Siraj al-Din, that the social base on which he depended moved to other political groups which finally succeeded in bringing down the whole of Nahhâs' regime in 1952.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

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