This study investigates whether individuals’ attitudes towards democracy and
secular politics have any influence on voting behavior in Egypt. Based on data
from a survey conducted immediately after the Egyptian parliamentary elections
in January 2012, this study finds that Egyptians’ attitudes towards democratic
governance were quite negative around the parliamentary elections, yet Egyptians
still endorsed democracy as the ideal political system for their country. However,
empirical findings suggest that support for democracy has a limited impact on
electoral results. On the other hand, the main division in Egyptian society around
the first free and fair parliamentary elections was the religious-secular cleavage. As
people support secular politics more, they become significantly less likely to vote
for Islamist parties. These results illustrate that preferences in regard to the type
of democracy – either a liberal and secular or a religious democracy – were
the main determinant of the historic 2012 elections in Egypt.
Ozen, H. Ege, "Egypt’s 2011–2012 parliamentary elections: Voting for religious vs. secular democracy?" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.