This article considers current explanations of the link between globalization and democratization in light of an empirical case study: that of a 1998-99 campaign led by Egyptian NGOs against government restrictions on the freedom of association. The article calls attention to the need to 'bring politics back in' to theories of the link between globalization and democratization, by studying the political strategies of actors, the longer-term local, historical context against which these strategies are formed and their impact upon existing relations of power. The first part of this article reviews some of the major arguments regarding the link between globalization and democratization in order to highlight their focus on structural changes in explaining democratization. The second part proposes an alternative explanatory framework, based on the Gramscian concepts of hegemony and counter-hegemony. The third and fourth parts operationalize this framework through presenting the context for the actions of NGOs in Egypt and the case study of NGO efforts for greater democratization. Finally, the conclusion brings together the conceptual and empirical discussions
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