The 2011 Egyptian revolution created an unlikely intersection in interests between a stumbling state apparatus and a socially powerful and politically conservative movement: the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, constituting the critical mass of the Islamist bloc in Egypt, was poised to play the role of the guarantor of democratic legitimacy and assimilation of newly politicized social groups at the same time: the necessary ingredients for stability in postrevolution Egypt. Some questioned the sustainability of this alliance; but interestingly most of those doubts about its practicality took form only retroactively, after the alliance finally fell apart when mass protests and increasing civil strife from the end of 2012 prompted a military coup on July 3, 2013. This article examines some aspects of how this alliance was forged and how it came undone.

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