When politicians and pundits in the Middle East discuss democracy, do they mean it? Looking at public discourse about democracy in contemporary Egypt, Dunne proposes a fresh way of reading Arabic political discourse. She charts a method combining ethnographic research into communities of people producing political discourse with investigation of the texts themselves, using tools from anthropology, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics ― a method with broad applicability to political discourse generally. Taking off from the premise that all discourse is based in social interaction, this book demonstrates that looking at the ways individuals and groups use public discourse to perform critical social and political functions yields entirely new perspectives on the significance of the discourse. Democracy in Contemporary Egyptian Political Discourse is a valuable resource for students of linguistics, political science, democracy studies, Arabic language, and Middle East area studies.