Social Justice

Outsourcing Welfare. how the Money Immigrants Send Home Contributes to Stability in Developing Countries

“In order to meet the International Monetary Fund’s debt-reduction guidelines, many developing country governments have had to retrenth their social welfare systems. This text is about how remittances – the hundreds of billions of dollars international migrants send to family members in their home countries each year – are helping to fill this welfare gap and prevent civil unrest in…

Environmental Activism in the Middle East: Prospects and Challenges

“Environmental activism has intensified across the Middle East and North Africa over the past few decades, focusing primarily on environmental issues that affect public health, livelihoods, and essential services. While intrusive security states limit information and stifle civil society, expanding educational opportunities, growing cities, and new means of communication have enabled environmental activism. This includes small-scale, informal, and localized activism…

What Drives Participation in Non-Formal Education in MENA? Evidence from a survey experiment

Across the Middle East and North Africa, a number of Arab youth are participating in educational programs outside the formal system. As detailed in 2016 surveys conducted by the Arab Barometer, the reasons for participation vary, but are often linked with the goal of increasing job opportunities and the likelihood of employment. However, many citizens perceive such opportunities remain out…

Arab Barometer Report on Non-Formal Education in the MENA Region

The University of Michigan, in combination with Northwestern University and the Salam Institute for Peace and Justice, are currently working on a research project for USAID on youth non-formal education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As part of this project, the consortium added a battery of survey questions concerning Nonformal Education to the annual Arab Barometer…

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…

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,…

Arab Public Opinion: Between Attachment to Islam and Commitment to Democracy

International surveys of personal values have existed for almost 40 years (since 1981) in most European countries (the European Values Study or EVS) and in many countries of the world (the World Values Survey), enabling us to observe the evolution of the values of the citizenry in many areas (religion, family, politics, trust, tolerance etc.). Only in much more recent…

Al-Sisi poised for empty victory in Egypt as signs of unrest grow across the region

“Egyptians are voting in presidential elections on March 26-28. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who grabbed power in 2013, is set to win another term by a landslide. Yet this is far from a sign of strength: opposition candidates have been silenced, and even pro-government media are being purged of the slightest undertone of dissent. Al-Sisi’s grip on power may appear firm,…

The Arab Spring: to be continued

…Quite unexpectedly, during that poll, as many as 11.5% of the Tunisians said that their country was democratic against 14% saying that it was ruled by a dictator regime. The key problems were corruption and unemployment. The Tunisians did not believe their leaders – be they political or religious. Most of them said that their economy was worse than it…

A Broken Social Contract, Not High Inequality, Led to the Arab Spring

During the 2000s, expenditure inequality in Arab countries was low or moderate and, in many cases, declining. Different measures of wealth inequality were also lower than elsewhere. Yet, there were revolutions in four countries and protests in several others. We explain this so‐called “inequality puzzle” by first noting that, despite favorable income inequality measures, subjective well‐being measures in Arab countries…