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Poverty, inequality and the structural threat to the Arab region

…… Jordanians who see no justice in their lives increased from 40 to 46 percent in just the four months between June and September 2018, two-thirds of citizens feel the country is moving in the wrong direction, 72 percent of households said they could not meet their basic expenses (compared to 42 percent in mid-2011), and two-thirds of households reported…

Algeria’s Second Arab Spring?

In retrospect, it now seems clear that the regime’s dithering in the face of unsustainable macroeconomic imbalances was a mistake. Judging from the most recent Arab Barometer survey(conducted in 2016), Algerians were not duped by the government’s Potemkin reforms. On the contrary, the regime’s costly efforts to enforce an artificial stability appear to have backfired. Between 2013 and 2016, while the…

The road ahead for Arab women

On top of social and economic progress, Arab women are making important strides in changing societal attitudes on gender equality but more work is needed to ensure women are granted the same rights and opportunities as their male counterparts in the Arab region. In a report titled “Women in the Middle East and North Africa: A Divide between Rights and…

Are Bouteflika’s Shake-Ups a Sign of Shifting Civil-Military Ties in Algeria?

… The army has now firmly entrenched itself as an integral feature of the political system—a system in which the legitimacy of the military’s political influence is hardly questioned by Algerians. It goes beyond popular acquiescence about the generals’ role in politics. In Algeria, the military constitutes the most trusted state institution, and by a wide margin. According to a 2017…

Maghreb Report

News article cites survey stating 83 percent of Algerians said they are either not interested or not at all interested in politics due to their expectation that the army will select the winner. Read full article at Morocco on the Move.

Public Trust in Arab Armies

Recent wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen have helped push regional defense spending—already the highest in the world—to new heights. Led by the oil-rich monarchies of the Persian Gulf, enormous new weapons acquisitions pushed military spending in the Middle East to 6 percent of GDP in 2016, compared to the global average of just 2.2 percent. While the military’s…

Arab Citizens Are Disenchanted with Politics

Across the Middle East and North Africa, citizens have become disenchanted with politics and government, according to a new report on civic engagement from the Arab Barometer, an independent research network that includes Arab universities and seeks to gauge Arab public opinion. Fifty percent of Arabs feel they have a guaranteed right to protest and two thirds believe they can…

Spineless: The Real Meaning of Smoothing-Over Khashoggi’s Murder

…Mr. Khashoggi’s words were echoed by prominent journalist and political analyst Rami Khouri. “We are heading to the law of the jungle if big power and Mideast state autocracy is not held accountable,” Mr. Khouri said. In a similar vein, a survey by the Arab Barometer survey concluded that public institutions in the Arab world, including the judiciary enjoyed little,…

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…