The Arab Spring, and after: Economic features and policy challenges

David Cobham*, Abdallah Zouache

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


In Chapter 17, the same authors look at the all-important topic of the ‘Arab Spring’, its economic features, consequences and policy challenges. Here, the long-term failure of economic policies in the Arab world to generate significant domestically based growth is reviewed as a determinant of the Arab Spring and as a background to a more detailed focus on economic policies. An examination of the economic programmes of three Islamist political parties shows that they are relatively moderate and centrist, but suffer from important, though not surprising, gaps. The economic policies that might have been expected from any reformist (non-Islamist and non-authoritarian) governments which emerged from the uprisings are considered. While these two sets of policies have much in common (and coalitions could be envisaged), Cobham and Zouache argue that neither can successfully address the failures of the pre-Spring economic policy in the Arab countries and that new economic policies are needed. For example, the crony capitalism which developed out of the liberalisation process needs to be confronted and the associated corruption needs to be eliminated. In conclusion, an appeal is made for the development of more specific economic policy proposals in these and other areas, proposals which reformist governments could implement and which could be used to challenge authoritarian governments that are reluctant to reform.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on the Middle East Economy
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315103969
ISBN (Print)9781138099777
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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