Middle East’s lost Decades: Development, Dissent and the Future of the Arab World

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Brief: 

The author examines “development” (both human and economic) in the Arab world after the Arab Spring in comparison to their status before 2011. The author proposes that although the situation as a whole is even worse now, there is something that has changed in the Arab world, which is the “Authoritarian Bargain” that Arab political regimes have rested on for many decades of their rule. This“Authoritarian Bargain” refers to the state’s provision of “jobs, security and services” in exchange for “political loyalty.” The author conducted a comparison between the political and economic situations before and after the Arab Spring based on providing some statistical figures from different Arab countries. She explained that before the uprisings a liberal economy was not followed by a liberal political sphere. It was only used by the Arab governments to guarantee and promote the cohesion and loyalty of the regime’s elites. However, after 2011 the situation was worse with respect to both the economic and political spheres. Arab citizens were no more confident about their political systems and this ended their passiveness. The article concluded that although the Arab Spring did not result in its aspired hopes or reforms, it managed to create a culture of political activism for the Arab revival. 

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