Economics

An Expiry Date for Despots?

A new wave of Arab uprisings suggests that the authoritarian bargain of the past may be collapsing. While thousands of Algerian citizens have continued to protest peacefully for the 40th consecutive week, demanding an accountable government and an end to corruption, streets in Iraq and Lebanon have turned into places of mass protests and ongoing confrontations between angry citizens and…

Across the Middle East, they are done with false prophets ​

When do demonstrations become a revolution? We romanticise the failures of the Arab Spring. But success has its costs, too. In the modern Middle East, only the Iranian Revolution has succeeded in bringing a new ruling class to power. But the 1979 revolution failed to bring about what the philosopher Michel Foucault predicted would be a new political dawn –…

Five Lessons From the New Arab Uprisings

…The fifth and final lesson is that the call for change in the region goes beyond electoral democracy and extends to deep socioeconomic reforms. Iraq and Lebanon show this clearly: relatively free and fair elections have already been held but have served only to reinforce corrupt sectarian regimes. According to the fifth wave of the Arab Barometer, the economic situation…

A Way Forward for U.K.-Jordan Security Cooperation

Jordan and the U.K. are set to renew security cooperation with a new three-year phase of U.K. support to the Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the Gendarmerie. The support is likely to exceed £10 million. Based on prior programming and the U.K.’s priorities for the region, support areas will likely include counterterrorism, public order management, and core policing. When the…

A Way Forward for U.K.-Jordan Security Cooperation

Jordan and the U.K. are set to renew security cooperation with a new three-year phase of U.K. support to the Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the Gendarmerie. The support is likely to exceed £10 million. Based on prior programming and the U.K.’s priorities for the region, support areas will likely include counterterrorism, public order management, and core policing. When the…

Lebanese protesters don’t trust their government to reform. Here’s why.

In Lebanon, mass anti-government protests that started last Thursday are now a multiday general strike. These demonstrations appear to be the largest and widest-reaching in the country’s history. On Monday, Prime Minister Saad Hariri responded with proposed concessions, saying that protesters have shaken the political parties and challenged blind loyalties to sect. But protesters aren’t buying it. And while Hariri…

Economic self-interest, information, and trade policy preferences: evidence from an experiment in Tunisia

We address a central question about the integration of developing countries into the global economy: what factors affect public support for such globalization. Do public preferences toward trade correlate with its economic consequences or sociocultural resonances? Using a nationally representative survey experiment in Tunisia, a majority Muslim, developing country, we investigate whether providing information about trade’s distributional consequences causes respondents…

The impact of the Arab Spring on democracy and development in the MENA region

In evaluating the consequences of the Arab Spring 8 years later, this paper not only focuses on the short‐term consequences of the uprisings that swept through a number of countries in the Middle East and North African region but also analyzes the long‐term prospects for democratization and development in the MENA region. The impact of the Arab Spring, despite its…

Protests and the Arab Spring: An Empirical Investigation

This article discusses a variety of major explanations for the intensity of recent protests in Arab states and investigates whether there is empirical support for them. We survey various political, economic, and social factors and develop a comprehensive empirical model to estimate the structural determinants of protests in 19 Arab League states between 1990 and 2011, measured using events data….

Divergent opposition to sub-Saharan African and Arab migrants in Morocco’s Casablanca Region: prejudice from the pocketbook?

Since the early 2010s, the global migrant crisis has led to the mass inflow of foreign migrants, refugees, and other displaced persons into numerous countries. Whereas some native citizens have welcomed these migrants, a large number have expressed opposition. Most theories explaining why citizens express opposition to migrants emerged from evidence collected in developed, European countries. Yet, developing, non-Western countries…

Poverty and Divine Rewards: The Electoral Advantage of Islamist Political Parties

Political life in many Muslim‐majority countries has been marked by the electoral dominance of Islamist parties. Recent attempts to explain why have highlighted their material and organizational factors, such as the provision of social services. In this article, we revive an older literature that emphasizes the appeal of these parties’ religious nature to voters experiencing economic hardship. Individuals suffering economic…