International Development Policy : Revue internationale de politique de développement
[0 followers] Follow
Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1663-9391
Published by Revues.org [400 journals]
- Introduction. In Search of Economic Policies to Stabilise Democratic
Authors: Giacomo Luciani
Abstract: Democratic transitions in the Middle East and North Africa have mostly failed to consolidate and have been hindered by the difficult economic heritage of previous authoritarian governments. Yet newly established democratic governments must deliver on the expectations of their people, especially the poorer strata, otherwise disillusionment may open the door to restoration of authoritarian rule. The introductory chapter reviews existing literature on the topic and presents the contributions of the collective volume to this crucially important discussion. Can democracy succeed? Various ideas for economic policies that may help consolidate the democratisation process are proposed, while major obstacles on the way to democratic success are also highlighted.
- A Brief Political Economy of Energy Subsidies in the Middle East and North
Authors: Laura El-Katiri, Bassam Fattouh
Abstract: Energy subsidies are among the most pervasive and controversial fiscal policy tools used in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In a region with few functioning social welfare systems, subsidised energy prices continue to form an important social safety net, albeit a highly costly and inefficient one. In the MENA region’s oil and gas producing countries, low energy prices have also historically formed an important element of an unwritten social contract, where governments have extracted their countries’ hydrocarbon riches in return for citizens’ participation in sharing resource rents. While it is clear that energy subsidy reform will not be the only variable at play, its potential socio-economic dividends are important factors for enabling some common regional objectives—sustainable fiscal policies, fiscal space to invest in key areas, and a more efficient and equitable distribution of scarce resources—to be achieved, helping to promote a more stable political status quo in th...
- Mass Migration and Uprisings in Arab Countries: An Analytical Framework
Authors: Philippe Fargues
Abstract: Is there a relationship between political movements and population movements in the Arab world? More specifically, are the uprisings that spread throughout Arab countries starting at the end of 2010 linked in any way with the international migration of their citizens? This paper first reviews the common determinants of revolt and emigration and addresses the question of how the two phenomena are partly rooted in the deep demographic changes Arab populations are currently going through. The paper then reviews the migratory outcomes of revolt both in terms of voluntary and forced migration. It finally explores diasporas' impact on homeland politics, or—more precisely—the role played by national expatriates in the revolts unfolding in their homelands, in particular through political remittances.
- The Political Economy of Distribution in the Middle East: Is There Scope
for a New Social Contract?
Authors: Steffen Hertog
Abstract: The majority of Arab political economies are characterised by a peculiar distributional system built on excess public employment and wide-ranging energy subsidies—features that exist in other developing countries but are more pronounced in the Arab world. This chapter provides an overview of this distribution regime, develops hypotheses regarding its historical origin, and analyses the political and economic distortions it creates. It builds on a wide range of literature on energy subsidies and on recent publications on (the weakness of) conventional social safety regimes. In its comparative analysis of public employment, it mostly relies on primary data.The chapter proposes that the current distribution regime not only benefits insiders and creates multiple segmentation of labour markets, it also weakens links between business and citizens. There follows a discussion of the outlines of an alternative social contract based on less distortionary welfare systems, notably direct cash g...
- Oil Rent and Regional Economic Development in MENA
Authors: Giacomo Luciani
Abstract: Oil rent has created a regional dynamic in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) whereby major political developments take place at the regional rather than the single-state level. The Arab Spring was a regional phenomenon, and the entire region is today involved in a regional civil war. The regional dimension of democratic transitions has often been postulated and supported in the literature. In seeking appropriate economic strategies that may support the democratisation process, the regional dimension cannot be forgotten: purely national recipes have little chance of success. Ever since the heyday of pan-Arabism, economic integration within the Arab region has been a recurring theme and objective, but accomplishments remain profoundly disappointing. This chapter reviews findings and the literature concerning the three dimensions of regional integration—merchandise trade, movements of labour and movements of capital—and details the insufficient progress that has been made. It is ...
- Egypt’s Economic Transition: Challenges and Prospects
Authors: Robert Springborg
Abstract: Egypt faces the Herculean task of simultaneously rebuilding its polity and economy and doing so in the absence of broad social consensus on either. State institutions underpinning both, ranging from the legislative and judicial branches to executive agencies with direct responsibility for economic management require substantial if not total overhauls. It is only the bedrock of the deep state that remains firmly in place, but that solid foundation is an inappropriate one upon which to construct a competitive and inclusive political economy. Any regime, in short, would face profound challenges in either creating a ‘second republic’ or re-invigorating the first, now badly discredited one. The military regime that seized power in July 2013, faces particularly intense ones not only because of the means by which it assumed power, but also because of its very nature. Military regimes are out of step with the times. One of the reasons they are is that they fail to deliver development, there...
- Agriculture and Development in the Wake of the Arab Spring
Authors: Eckart Woertz
Abstract: This paper analyses the role of agriculture in the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It outlines agriculture’s relative contribution to development and employment, shows linkages with food security policies, and discusses possible future scenarios. Agriculture’s role in the economies of MENA is limited nowadays, but its contribution to employment is still substantial. In many countries it is at the heart of the region’s water crisis as it withdraws about 80 per cent of water resources. Agricultural constituencies have played an important role in sociopolitical transformations of the region. Populist regimes tried to win them over—as support base—with land reforms enacted in the 1950s and 1960s. Since the 1980s these earlier reforms have been pushed back and the sector has been liberalised under bureaucratic-authoritarian reform coalitions. In other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, extensive production subsidies have been maintained. The MENA region is the...
- Can Finance and Credit Enable Economic Growth and Democracy?
Authors: Bassem Snaije
Abstract: Can economic growth and democracy be fuelled by finance and credit? This chapter examines mechanisms that have positive effects on democratic transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, such as credit growth and the development of capital markets-based credit, based on a bond market and a Sukuk market, its sharia-compliant equivalent. The contribution analyses the general role of credit as a network of legally binding contracts of trust between economic actors, including the state, in any given country. By comparing the role and size of credit in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and the MENA region, the author argues that, in general, the growth of credit’s role in MENA countries and, in particular, the development of debt capital markets in the region, strengthen public participation in the economic activity of the region. The spread of contractual obligations requires more transparent and accessible accounting and fina...
- Rethinking the Rentier Curse
Authors: Adeel Malik
Abstract: The Middle Eastern political economy has long been studied through the prism of the resource curse—that is, how resource riches undermine the region’s economic and political development. While many of the region’s pathologies are rooted in an economic structure heavily reliant on external windfalls, the existing literature tends to overstate the role of oil. This research note develops the case for a broader conceptualisation of rents that includes not just windfalls from hydrocarbons, but also rents derived from aid, remittances and government manipulation of the economy. Reliance on these rent streams is the ‘original sin’ that perpetuates underdevelopment. Discussions of Arab political economy should therefore be framed as part of a broader enquiry into the relationship between rents and development. This requires, in turn, a deeper understanding of business–state relationships and the role of regional linkages in development.
- The Governance of Climate Change Adaptation Finance—An Overview and
Authors: Morgan Scoville-Simonds
Abstract: At COP21 in Paris parties to the UNFCCC reiterated the goal of USD 100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020 and agreed to set a more ambitious target by 2025. A significant portion of these funds is intended to flow through the newly operational Green Climate Fund and will be dedicated to climate change adaptation in developing countries. Meanwhile, growing support for adaptation is already flowing through diverse channels. International debates continue, not only over the amount of adaptation finance, but also with regard to fund governance. In particular, developing countries are seeking greater country control through increased participation in high-level decision-making and ‘direct access’ to adaptation funds. This paper proposes an overview of the primary channels currently employed in the emerging adaptation finance field, with particular attention to governance characteristics relevant to international debates. This analysis suggests that while both developing-country ...