Egypt's current regime is a direct descendent of the one that was set up by army officers, who rebelled against what they saw as the British empire's puppet monarchy in 1952. They deposed the king and the Arab nationalist Gamel Abdel Nasser came to power. Since then Egypt has been dominated by one party.
Now, it all looks like it could change, with massive crowds on the streets of the cities, people forming neighbourhood committees to defend their local areas, and factory occupations.
Leif Stenberg is a professor at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University. He says that this can be called a revolution, and that a transitional government is a probably solution.
The main force that can end the protests seems to be the army. Professor Stenberg says that, although the army is still closely connected to the Mubarak regime there are those who are looking out for the interests of the army as a whole.
The main protest groups seem to be the Muslim Brotherhood and the supporters of Muhammad ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Professor Stenberg says that while the support that such groups have is difficult to ascertain, a transitional government has to involve ElBareadei, the Brotherhood, plus liberals, trade unionists and leftists. "one reason why the brotherhood have been quiet is because they are a little bit uncertain of what they are going to do." And he says that he thinks the Brotherhood's new, conservative, leadership, is not interested in turning Egypt into an 'Islamic state'.
Another development is the creation of neighbourhood groups and factory occupations. Professor Stenberg says that this shows that the uprising is based on practical issues.
"They show that these events are not channelled through religious terminology or action, but more about daily life and the economy, and I think this is important because this is where the problems have been in Egypt." He adds that some academics say that we have passed the point where Islamic politics was the only outlet for such protests.