This article applies the typology of welfare state regimes developed by Esping-Andersen in 1990 to the welfare state in Egypt as an example of developing countries. The study surveys the relations between the state, the market, and society from 1995 to 2005, a period characterized by a shift towards a market-oriented economy, challenging the historical legacy of the state's social role. The methodology employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis while examining the characteristics of seven main welfare schemes and social safety nets in Egypt. The findings suggest that the Egyptian current welfare state can be best described as “conservative/informal,” where social benefits are tied to employment in the formal sector, leading to the family, religious institutions, and clientelistic networks taking on important roles to meet the social needs of the larger informal sector. In addition, the study proposes amendments to the Esping-Andersen typology in order to better understand the welfare programs of developing countries. Mismanagement, quality considerations, the gap between stated goals and implementation, disparities created by gender and urbanization differences, and the role of the informal sector should be systematically considered when analyzing welfare regimes in general, and those of developing countries in particular.