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The Power of RepresentationPublics, Peasants, and Islam in Egypt$
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Michael Ezekiel Gasper

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758888

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758888.001.0001

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The Formation and Emergence of the Peasant Question

The Formation and Emergence of the Peasant Question

(p.15) Chapter One The Formation and Emergence of the Peasant Question
The Power of Representation
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines various historical events that occurred in the nineteenth century and their consequences for Egypt over the course of the next century. It focuses on developments such as the introduction of new legal and administrative practices, the expansion of cotton production, and the emergence of a nascent public sphere, and how they affected the condition of peasants. Moreover, the chapter considers the pivotal role played by Islamic modernism in these events, and argues that Islamic modernism outlined the proper desires and aspirations for “civilized” Muslims while providing new models of familial and societal relationships as well as personal comportment. It first discusses monopoly, markets, and the growth of export agriculture in Egypt during the period, before turning to land tenure, tax collection and the mixed courts, the social cluster known as 'afandiya, reform and performative subjectivity, and the contributions of Jamal al-Din al-'Afghani and Muhammad 'Abduh to the Islamic reform movement.

Keywords:   Egypt, peasants, cotton production, agriculture, public sphere, modernism, Muslims, Islamic reform, mixed courts, 'afandiya

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