Seven years after the 2011 uprisings, the Egyptian military shows no evident signs of internal cracks. This article argues that the Egyptian army’s unrivalled dominance, both in politics and within the security apparatus, could be explained as the result of three combined factors: substantial economic interests, a long-time legitimacy buttressed by the army’s active involvement in welfare and development initiatives, and the reliance on universal conscription as the main avenue for the successful accommodation of class and social cleavages—key elements underpinning the army’s status of supreme political arbitrator in Egyptian politics.

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