Egypt's recent economic history is punctuated by ironies. In particular, development proved to be profoundly destabilizing, dislocating millions of citizens in the rush to cities, raising the visibility of a detested new class of crony capitalists and creating expectations of mobility that were impossible to realize.
This problem is hardly unique to Egypt -- think China and India. But the Mubarak regime lacked the political legitimacy to survive it. The new government's task is to restore that sense of legitimacy without sacrificing the growth that has, in many ways, changed Egypt for the better. And one key to success will be to convince ordinary Egyptians that they have a real voice in the process. No easy task, indeed.