This thesis explores the political capacity, defined as both abilities as well as opportunities, of the Egyptian Islamist social movement, the Muslim Brothers, in the Mubarak era. The Islamist social movement, the Muslim Brothers, still not allowed by the Egyptian regime to form a political party nor to engage in political activities as a civil association, won 19 % of the seats in Parliament in the election in November-December 2005. This is the strongest performance by an Egyptian opposition party in half a century. The result of the parliamentary election represents a paradox, namely that the illegal social movement, the Muslim Brothers, in an authoritarian and corporate regime showed such huge election success. This paradox constitutes the backdrop of this thesis and illustrates that despite power structures made by the regime, the social movement is an agent applying diverse strategies to circumvent stringent obstacles to enter the formal political system. The driving force for carrying out this thesis is to understand the various obstacles and opportunities for democratization or political change in Egypt and in the Middle East in general. Lack of democratic policy is again a major hindrance for sustainable development in the region. Even though the thesis focuses on the Muslim Brothers in the formal political sphere acting like a political party, social movement theory frames this research. Islamic activism is important to study both due to its political impact and in theoretical terms, because it raises broader questions of opposition movements in authoritarian regimes. As I study the Muslim Brothers as an Islamic social movement in the context of an authoritarian and cooperative regime, the aim of this thesis is to critically examine how the political goals and strategies of Muslim Brotherhood in the Mubarak era are determined by the political context in which they operate. This study discovers that the political activities of the Muslim Brothers are seemingly a democratic learning process. Their illegal position has made them call for democracy and the insistence on playing by the rules, gives them useful insight and experience with the democratic game.