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How Did Social Insurance in Egypt Become a Problem Rather Than a Solution?

On 31 March 2015, Egypt’s Minister of Transitional Justice announced that the committee for legislative reform was working on a draft decision to amend some provisions of the laws currently regulating social insurance. Not much attention was paid to this announcement, in which plenty of other projects were mentioned. ...  Read More »

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The Property Regime: Mecca and the Politics of Redevelopment in Saudi Arabia

The 1990 Gulf War was a watershed in the history of the modern Middle East, one that altered the political economies of the region as well as state-society relations therein. In Saudi Arabia, the anti-regime popular mobilizations that had emerged during the war, coupled with the post-war global economic recession, ...  Read More »

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Garbage Crisis Exposes Arrogance and Conflict Among the Political Elite of Lebanon

The government just does not seem to get it. Protests that kicked off in Lebanon a few weeks ago are no longer about the garbage crisis. They are fundamentally about the failure of successive Lebanese governments to provide basic services for citizens. They are about corruption associated with managing public ...  Read More »

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Party, an Army, and a Palace (Part II)

[The following is the final part of "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here. Read the first part of this installment here.] The interaction of memory and forgetting in the state's construction of the history of the 1950s in Morocco takes on a pervasive form at ...  Read More »

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Party, an Army, and a Palace (Part I)

[The following is the first part in the final installment of "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here.] The year is 1958. Morocco has entered its second year of independence from France. Sultan Mohammed V is aging and Crown Prince Hassan II, Commander of the Royal Armed ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Moe Ali Nayel on Lebanon’s Garbage Crisis and Protest Movement

[On 22 August 2015, what had in previous weeks been a small protest against the breakdown in garbage collection in Beirut turned into a major anti-corruption demonstration calling for fundamental political and economic change in Lebanon. The protesters have been met with escalating repressive violence, and the ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World

Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Gary Wilder (GW): This book grew unexpectedly out of a lecture I tried to write on Aimé Césaire’s understanding of decolonization that would ...  Read More »

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The Changing Nature of the Algerian Political System and the Illusion of a Civilian Regime

Since 2011 Algeria has recorded a series of important political changes, despite its reputation as one of the most immobile countries in a region marked by instability and turmoil. This evolution in the nature of Algeria's regime has gone largely unnoticed on the international media, while domestically the ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Raymond Hinnebusch, From Arab Spring to Arab Winter: Explaining the Limits of Post-Uprising Democratization

Raymond Hinnebusch, editor, From Arab Spring to Arab Winter: Explaining the Limits of Post-Uprising Democratization, special issue of Democratization 22.2 (2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put this special issue together? Raymond Hinnebusch (RH): We felt that the debate over who had been vindicated by the ...  Read More »

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Planning under Occupation: Elastic Geographies and ‘Area C’

In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank. In particular, organizations have expressed their apprehension towards the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. According to the 1995 Oslo Accords, Area C of the ...  Read More »

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Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism: Profiting Israel, Entrenching the Blockade

Israel’s eight-year, ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip maintains a protracted humanitarian crisis and prevents access to fundamental rights and freedoms of the population of almost two million Palestinians. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, have ...  Read More »

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The Limits of Humanitarianism

The prose of collapse increasingly punctuates reports and communiques concerned with the well-being of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As early as 2006, as the Israeli siege slowly settled into place, reports cautioned of the collapse of the health system. On 4 January 2009, the Israeli human rights organization ...  Read More »

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Rebuilding Gaza Needs Freedom and Normality – Not Just Aid

In the near three decades that I have been involved with Gaza and her people, I have never seen the kind of physical and psychological destruction that I see there today. In all Gaza’s long and tormented history, there is no precedent for its extraordinarily dangerous position in 2014. The situation is dangerous not ...  Read More »

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More than Money on their Minds: The Generals and the Economy in Egypt Revisited

Following the July 2013 power takeover by Defense Minister and later President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, the economic activities of the Egyptian military have been reportedly on the rise. For many, that trend only meant that the military under Sisi was preparing to do what it has long done under previous leaders, namely ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Reem Abou-El-Fadl, Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles

Reem Abou-El-Fadl, editor, Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles. London and New York: Routledge, 2015.       Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Reem Abou-El-Fadl (RA): Along with many friends and colleagues, I experienced the ...  Read More »

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Planning Beirut during the French Mandate: The Construction of a Modern City and its Legacy

Marlène Ghorayeb, Beyrouth sous mandat français, construction d’une ville moderne. Paris: Karthala, 2014.   This is a wonderful addition to our knowledge of Beirut’s early days of modern planning, during the transition from Late Ottoman to French Mandate, and later. In the lineage of Jens Hanssen’s Fin de Siècle ...  Read More »

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Paradigms Lost in Morocco: How Urban Mega-Projects Should Disturb our Understanding of Arab Politics

When you enter Casablanca by train along the coastal track, you can see the new high-rises of Casablanca Marina appear in the distance. Although still under construction, it has already radically transformed the skyline of Casablanca. The Mrina project is situated just in front of the old medina between the harbor and ...  Read More »

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Then and Now: LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on State Institutions in Lebanon

In the following interview with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish discusses the history of state institutions in early independence Lebanon, and some of the legacies they left behind. The interview was conducted over email, and first published on the LCPS ...  Read More »

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In the Service of the Whole Community? Civic Engagement in Saudi Arabia (1950s-1960s)

Civic engagement in Saudi Arabia has been viewed mostly from the angle of labor, nationalist, or sectarian activism that evolves in phases of political or social tension.[1] In this essay, I examine civic engagement in the 1950s and 1960s through the lens of the city. I argue that the above stated categories are too ...  Read More »

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Water Management in Jordan in Response to the Syrian Crisis: Between Neoliberal Pressures and Social Tensions

Since 1948, the Kingdom of Jordan has taken in a considerable number of refugee populations fleeing conflicts in Palestine, Iraq and now Syria. While this brings the country significant international aid, it also raises the question of the capacity of urban public services to handle this new demographic pressure. ...  Read More »

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part II)

[See Part I here. Parts II and III are combined below] The Irony of Calamity There are no easy answers in Syria. Though undramatic, this is not how most seem to approach the Syrian tragedy in practice. What follows is not a recipe for an answer as much as it is a reminder against repeating the same mistakes if/when ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts on the Saudi Transition and Beyond: A STATUS/الوضع conversation with Toby Jones

With the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, there is much press speculation about change in the Kingdom. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status, Toby Jones parses through these debates and highlights the more salient points, identifying how this transition should be analyzed beyond hyperbolic ...  Read More »

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part 1)

[See Part II here] After four years of killing and mayhem, the truth remains that there are no easy answers in Syria. What might appear to be natural liberal solutions are not only lacking in realism, but are also embedded in half-baked world views about freedom, justice, development, international relations, and ...  Read More »

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Imperial Consequences of Things: An Interview with Alan Mikhail

In this interview, Alan Mikhail discusses his own work on the environmental history of the Ottoman Empire, the wider intervention of environmental history, and the challenge of interdisciplinarity. The interview was initially conducted in person at the 2013 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference and ...  Read More »

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Video: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross Debate US Policy in the Middle East

[The following video is of  the Lund Critical Debate Series event American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure, featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross. The event took place at Cornell University on 3 March 2015 and was moderated by Aziz Rana.The ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: David McDonald, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South

David McDonald, editor, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South. London: Zed Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? David McDonald (DMD): After three decades of privatization, we observe a growing worldwide trend of governments taking back control of services, or ...  Read More »

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A Compound in Common: The Case of “Little Duweiqa,” Haram City

While the eyes of the world focused on the intermittent occupations of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in the four years since the Egyptian uprising of 2011, a different kind of social action has persisted at the city’s periphery. On 13 August 2010 and in February 2011, during the eighteen days leading to Hosni Mubarak’s fall, ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring

Andrea Khalil, editor, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. [Editors’ Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). To mark the publication of this special issue as a book, we are reprinting a NEWTON piece written ...  Read More »

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Bio-Istanbul: A Speculative, Segregationist, and Sustainable Urbanism

Ekolojik (ecological), yeşil (green), doğal (natural), or akıllı (smart): these are the new concepts increasingly emphasized in brochures advertising real estate projects in Istanbul. Stamped with the seal of “sustainability” (sürdürülebilirlik), a terminology that signalled its entry into the ...  Read More »

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Becoming a 'Media Intellectual': The Platitudes and Partisanships of Etyen Mahçupyan

As politics in contemporary Turkey is gradually steered towards a de facto Imperial Presidency shrouded in regurgitated myths of Ottoman revivalism and defended against ostentatious conspiracies, it is easy to be sucked into the extreme polarization between the pro- and anti-government positions. It is also easy to ...  Read More »

Political Economy Project

This page is co-produced with the Political Economy Project​The Political Economy Project (PEP) is an evolving focus of the Arab Studies Institute, with research, pedagogic, and advocacy objectives. Our founding workshop took place in April 2015 at the Arab Studies Institute in Virginia and was followed by several workshops, conferences, research projects, resource building efforts, and other activities. The workshop and preparations for it spawned an initial membership of more than sixty researchers and scholars of political economy from the Middle East and beyond. PEP’s evolving cluster of activities revolve around research, pedagogy, training, network-building, and advocacy. Our network grows through nominations by existing members. A cornerstone of PEP is to provide opportunities and training for students and emerging researchers both from the region and beyond. READ MORE HERE.

Political Economy Summer Institute

Each year, the Political Economy Project hosts the Political Economy Summer Institute. The goal of the Summer Institute is to foster and support critical scholarship on the political economy of the Middle East and beyond. It brings together faculty leaders and student participants for four days of immersive study. Faculty members lead sessions on themes such as state formation, imperialism, and labor, while students present their research and workshop their papers. To date the Political Economy Project has hosted two summer institutes at George Mason University in 2016 and 2017. More information can be found here.

Political Economy Book Prize

The Political Economy Project just closed the doors for our 2017 Middle East Political Economy Book Prize. The book prize aims to recognize and disseminate exceptional critical work on the political economy of the Middle East. While the book must have a political economy theme, we welcome nominations from across academic disciplines. Submissions will be read and judged by a committee drawn from PEP’s membership. Eligible texts must have been published in the year prior, and can be either Arabic or English language. The book must make an original contribution to critical political economy research. The author(s) of the winning book will receive a prize of US$1000 and will be invited to give a talk at a PEP affiliated University. The author(s) will also be interviewed by the Arab Studies Institute’s Audio Magazine, Status/الوضع. For more information, contact us at bookprize@politicaleconomyproject.org.

Resources

JADMAG Issue 4.2 "What is Political Economy?" is out!

 

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