Economics

The Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia. Social, Political and Economic Transformations

“The Arab Uprisings were unexpected events of rare intensity in Middle Eastern history – mass, popular and largely non-violent revolts which threatened and in some cases toppled apparently stable autocracies. This volume provides in-depth analyses of how people perceived the socio-economic and political transformations in three case studies epitomising different post-Uprising trajectories – Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt – and drawing…

Popular Support for Democracy in Autocratic Regimes: A Micro-Level Analysis of Preferences

“Scholarly opinions diverge as to which citizens in autocratic regimes actually prefer democracy to the status quo. While some argue that citizens with higher levels of socioeconomic status are more likely to prefer democracy because they desire political equality, others argue that the poor should prefer democracy most because they will have more relative power to affect redistributive policies. Analyzing…

The Lights of Iraq: Electricity Usage and the Iraqi War-fare Regime

“This article explores the lights of Iraq, Iraq’s variety of capitalism (VoC) and its system of public and fiscal governance. The first section examines Iraq’s VoC, which I define oil-led state-captured capitalism with associated oil-led state-captured war-fare regime. In formerly ISIS-occupied territories, war developments turned the system into an Insurgent ISIS-captured capitalism with associated Insurgent ISIS-captured war-fare regime. The second…

In the Triple Threat to Tunisia’s Democracy, Corruption is King

“As austerity protestors clash with security forces in Tunisia, the country’s young democracy is threatened by a triple challenge: Insecurity, a lack of socioeconomic development and persistent corruption are interlinked and reinforce each other. Individually and in concert they undermine citizens’ confidence in the democratic system and hamper its ability to produce democracy dividends. Corruption is the most pernicious of…

The Process of Revolutionary Protest: Development and Democracy in the Tunisian Revolution of 2010-2011

“Research on democratic revolution treats revolutionary protest, and revolutionary protest participation, as unitary events. This conceptualization is at odds with how `revolutionary’ protest often unfolds—protest does not begin life as democratic or revolutionary but grows in a process of positive feedback, incorporating new constituencies and generating new demands. Using an original event catalogue of protest during the twenty-nine days of…

Transitional Justice in Tunisia: Any Role for Islam?

In a study on transitional justice in post-Arab Spring Tunisia, AB’s suvey data is cited to show that the majority of Tunisians consider the economic situation and corruption as the most important problems facing the country. Read the full article at E-International Relations.

No Taxation without Representation? On Tax Reforms in Jordan

…Secondly, the government should fight corruption, tax avoidance (which according to the Income and Sales Tax Department in 2016 cost the budget JD 3 billion), mismanagement, and cronyism to make Jordanians feel their taxes are being put to a good use. One study, conducted by the University of Jordan Strategic Studies Center and NAMA Consultants, argues that only 35% of…

Gender Inequality and Economic Inclusion in Tunisia: Key Policy Issues

….Sociocultural prescriptions about gender roles have changed less than the secular nature of the state might suggest. According to the sixth wave (2010-14) of the World Values Survey, 71% of respondents agreed that “when jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women” (see Table 2). The gender breakdown suggests that more men (82%) than women…

Exploring Support for Democracy Across the Globe

This report is the first comprehensive analysis on the state of support for democracy across the globe using data from the Global Barometer Surveys. The focus is on support for democracy both because democracy is at the core of the GBS surveys, and because, as a political system, it is currently facing an uphill battle to defend its legitimacy. By exploring the state of support for democracy…

Can fighting corruption help Arab states sell painful economic reforms?

Perceptions matter In a 2016 report by Transparency International in nine Arab states, 61 percent of citizens polled said they believed corruption was on the rise in their countries, and 68 percent said their government was “doing badly” in fighting corruption. In Jordan, 75 percent of respondents said they believe corruption had increased, while an Arab Barometer survey in 2016…

Turkey in the Middle East

Turkey, as country with a long history in the region and its promotion of “shared brotherhood”, has exerted a significant influence on Middle Eastern societies. Even though Turkey followed pro-Israel and anti-Islamist policies in the past, its policies have increasingly become anti-Israel and pro-Islamist with the increasing prominence of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the Arab Spring, a period in which…

Jordan faces its historical reckoning

…..  After former Prime Minister Hani Mulki had proposed in early May reforms to address a multiyear economic adjustment plan agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors, it became clear that the government had pushed past the limit of what citizens could bear financially or accept politically. Jordanians are and feel poor after years of gradual austerity,…

No Arab Bourgeoisie, No Democracy? The Entrepreneurial Middle Class and Democratic Attitudes since the Arab Spring

This study examines the democratic attitudes of the Arab world’s small business community before and after the start of the Arab Spring. We begin by analyzing the results from three waves of the Arab Barometer surveys (2006–2009, 2010–2011, and 2012–2014). All together, these datasets comprise more than 34,000 individuals, which include 3,075 small business owners across fourteen Arab countries. Our…