The Quest for Legitimacy in Postrevolutionary Egypt: Propaganda and Controlling Narratives (JMEA)


In the aftermath of the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, the military-backed Egyptian interim government has used propaganda and has promoted a certain representation of the past to achieve its political agenda of building legitimacy and consolidating power in a postrevolutionary state. In support of this objective, the interim government installed by ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi has relied on a discourse that revolves around a few central themes: demonization of the Muslim Brotherhood, the war on terror, the continuity of the January 25 Revolution in the June 30 Revolution, and the inseparability of the army and the people throughout Egyptian history. This discourse is reflected in speeches during state commemorations and ceremonies, official statements, and government publications, and is supported by the state media at large. Even the legal proceedings against Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi carried political and strategic significance for the successor regime. When al-Sisi assumed the presidency in June 2014, he largely adhered to the same discourse in order to safeguard the crucial popular support that he needs in order to realize his efforts to rehabilitate the Egyptian economy, ensure national security, and defer criticism that his government embodies a return to the Mubarak era.