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After the SpringEconomic Transitions in the Arab World$
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Magdi Amin, Ragui Assaad, Nazar al-Baharna, Kemal Dervis, Raj M. Desai, Navtej S. Dhillon, Ahmed Galal, Hafez Ghanem, Carol Graham, and Daniel Kaufmann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924929

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924929.001.0001

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The Origins of the Arab Spring

The Origins of the Arab Spring

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter 2 The Origins of the Arab Spring
Source:
After the Spring
Author(s):

Magdi Amin

Ragui Assaad

Nazar al-Baharna

Kemal Derviş

Raj M. Desai

Navtej S. Dhillon

Ahmed Galal

Hafez Ghanem

Carol Graham

Daniel Kaufmann

Homi Kharas

John Page

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

Katherine Sierra

Tarik M. Yousef

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924929.003.0002

Arab states have traditionally secured the loyalty of their subjects through an authoritarian bargain by which government jobs and a generous welfare state were provided to Arab citizens in exchange for restrictions on political behavior. This social contract-under stress for the past two decades-began to erode prior to the Arab spring. For Arab youth, in particular, employment is scarce, and standards of living are declining or stagnant. In the end, decades of slow and piecemeal reforms could not prevent the eventual unraveling of the Arab social contract and the unmaking of the Arab polity. This chapter explores the proximate sources of the regime changes in the Arab world and explains how the legacies of Arab political development will shape the possibilities for economic reform.

Keywords:   arab spring, welfare state, social contract, authoritarian bargain, regime change, political development

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