Who is afraid of ashwaiyyat? Urban change and politics in Egypt

Asef Bayat, Eric Denis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on the 1996 census, this paper challenges the orthodox view that rural migrants are causing a rapid expansion of Egyptian cities and have created 'cities of peasants'. It describes how most major cities have ceased to be centres for rural in-migration and looks at the spatial diffusion of urban development through the growth of agro-towns, urban villages and new industrial towns. Many settlements officially classified as 'rural' are growing rapidly and acquiring urban characteristics. The paper also questions commonly held assumptions that the large informal settlements in which much of the urban population live are 'abnormal' and associated with social deviance and political violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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