Institutional Reform of Economic Legislation in Egypt

The relationship between institutional and economic reform has dominated the field of development research since the 1990s. However, there is unclarity on the significance of reform of institutions of legislation and representation (whether in the form of interest groups or other civil society organizations). Similarly, there is unclarity regarding the sequence of reform of such institutions. There are, for example, four unresolved contentions about institutional reform. (1) If economic reform partly means economic legislation, is it necessary to reform parliament even when economic legislation is mainly done by the executive? (2) If economic reform requires efficient allocation of resources, is it necessary to strengthen special interest groups and increase societal representation/participation, running the risk of increasing clientelistic lobbying? (3) If one is to answer both questions positively, how should the reformation of the institution of parliament and that of interest representation happen and (4) in which sequence? This study focuses on the institutional environment of economic law-making in Egypt in a decade of intensive economic reform. It highlights the phases that characterized the relationship between economic reform and economic legislation, uncovers the macro-political factors that influence the institution of legislation, and unravels the institutional weakness embedded in the informational base of legislation. The argument is that economic legislation involves an intricate process of judgement. This process of judgement may require redundant channels of information processing and opinion-making that go beyond a linear and simple expert-executive relationship. Hence, the institutional reform of parliament and of interest representation become necessary even in politico-economic systems where the executive is dominant. This study relies on analyses of parliamentary discussions of nine major economic laws between 1989 & 1997 as well as on opinion surveys and extensive interviews with parliamentarians and interest group representatives.

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ZEF–Discussion Papers On Development Policy No. 30

 Record created 2019-01-08, last modified 2020-10-28

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