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dc.contributor Labib, Malak
dc.contributor.author Amin, Samir
dc.coverage.spatial Cairo, Egypt en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-02-28T07:57:15Z
dc.date.available 2010-02-28T07:57:15Z
dc.date.created 2008-04-20
dc.date.issued 2010-02-28T07:57:15Z
dc.identifier.uri http://dar.aucegypt.edu/handle/10526/191
dc.description.abstract When he arrived in Egypt in 1957, Amin was hired at the Mouassassa Iqtisadiya (Economic Organization), a public agency created in 1957 to manage the assets in which the government had a share. The public sector had indeed expanded in 1957, following the nationalization of the British and French economic interests. At the Mouassassa, which was directed by Sedki Soliman, Amin was attached to the research unit: his work consisted in studying the past history of the major sectors of the Egyptian economy, the problems they faced, and their outlook for future development. He was working under the supervision of his friend, Ismail Sabri Abdallah, who was in charge of orienting the economic decisions of the Organisation. Both Amin and Sabri Abdallah were also active members of the Egyptian Communist Party. According to Amin, there was no authentic economic planning in Egypt. The Free Officers did not have a clear vision of the economic policies to be followed nor did they have any solid understanding of economics. The Army officers and young technocrats which were appointed at the head of the newly created public sector also lacked the vision. And the regime did not turn to good account the knowledge and experience of communist and liberal economists. They were marginalized in different ways. Economic decisions were thus dispersed between numerous institutions (the ministry of Finance, the ministry of Planning, the Economic Organization, the Central Bank, and the ministry of Industry …), each one functioning according to its own logic, without any central coordination. These institutions, considered separately, also suffered, at various degrees, from lack of coordination and the absence of a comprehensive vision of economic development. The ministry of industry, for instance, was dominated by opposing clans, each one pushing its own project. And the ministry could implement its projects without any external supervision, since it had its own source of financing: the Industrial Bank The ministry of Planning which was supposed to propose a vision for the development of the public sector did not play its role properly. The experts working at the ministry relied essentially on technical models for economic development. But there was no political and social vision underlying these models. In addition, the ministry did not have the clout to obtain the implementation of the projects it was proposing. The ministry of Finance, on its side, was reluctant to finance the development of industry, and the Central Bank was mainly concerned with financial equilibrium. Amin argues that himself and Ismail Sabri Abdallah were conscious of these problems and attempted to correct them, through their work at the Mouassassa. But this proved impossible since it was the whole system that needed to be changed. As a result, the Five-Year Plan covering the period between 1960 and 1965 consisted merely in a series of projects, without any comprehensive design unifying them. According to Amin, one of the main reasons for this failure was the lack of democracy. Nasser liquidated the two political forces (the liberal bourgeoisie and the communists) who had real political weight in Egyptian political life, and each its own social and political project: this led to a political vacuum. Amin also argues that the Nasserite regime was, in its essence, a national bourgeois project and that the economic policies carried out by the regime never aimed at transforming Egypt into a socialist country. Therefore the transition from Nasser to Sadat did not constitute a real rupture, regarding the nature of the regime. It was simply a transition, in Amin’s words, from “Capitalism without capitalists to Capitalism with capitalists”. en_US
dc.rights.uri Link to Terms of Use en
dc.title Oral History Interview of Samir Amin en_US
dc.type Interview en
dc.description.access Access to interview recordings and transcripts is restricted to department use only. Please contact the EBHRC at xxxx-xxxx or xxxxxx@aucegypt.edu to get access to the attached files. en


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