Economics

Tunisia At A Crossroads

Key Findings: Perceptions of economic conditions have significantly deteriorated since 2011. Trust in the government and parliament are low, but Tunisians have far more confidence in the security services and the judiciary. Nearly all Tunisians say corruption remains rampant, while fewer than half believe the government is taking steps to address the problem. Desire to emigrate is high and growing,…

Unhappy Development: Dissatisfaction With Life on the Eve of the Arab Spring

Despite progress with economic and social development over several decades, life satisfaction was relatively low and declining in many developing Arab countries in the second half of the 2000s—a situation described in this paper as the “unhappy development” paradox. The paper empirically tests the direction and strength of association of a range of objective and subjective factors with subjective well‐being…

Revisiting the Islamist–Secular divide: Parties and voters in the Arab world

Electoral politics in the Arab world are either portrayed as clientelistic affairs void of content or as highly ideological clashes between Islamist and Secular Left forces. Although both arguments are intuitively appealing, the empirical evidence to date is limited. This article seeks to contribute to the debate by investigating the extent of programmatic voter support for Islamist and Secular Left…

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

This study examines support for democracy among a key subgroup of the Arab middle class—the small business community—before and after the start of the Arab Spring. Although historically cast as anti-democratic, we provide evidence that small business owners became more pro-democratic after the start of the Arab Spring. Yet their support for democracy varies according to the presence and type…