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For decades, Arab regimes offered social services, subsidies, and government employment in return for little or no citizen participation in decisionmaking—essentially social contracts based on authoritarian bargains.

In Egypt, the military autocracy has attempted to persuade the public to accept the loss of pluralist politics and personal freedoms, in exchange for stability and security.

It is a storm that the regimes, with a few notable exceptions, have been unprepared to face. Produced by a prominent group of independent Arab scholars and researchers, these reports were painfully honest examinations of the state of human development in Arab countries. When the aspirations of youths are stymied, countries tend to be unstable. Powerful states are increasingly interfering in the affairs of weaker ones, heightening internal and regional conflict. The legislative process has been similarly improvised, with decrees issued in the West Bank by Abbas following opaque procedures, and in Gaza by a defunct parliament bereft of initiative or popular support. Across the Arab world, central authority is under severe strain amid conflict and decaying institutional frameworks. As a result, political actors and citizens alike are left with little scope for compromise and forced to choose between supporting or opposing a government, or, more dangerously, adopting or rejecting a particular confessional, ethnic, or tribal identity. Other countries, like Lebanon and Jordan, that have received an influx of migrants, are experiencing a severe strain on their education, welfare, and security systems. Continued chaos in the Middle East might seem inevitable, but other regions have experienced similar collapses and managed to step back from the precipice. To help illustrate how these breakdowns and trends are playing out in different settings, eight case studies are presented: Egypt , Iraq , Jordan , Libya , Palestine , Saudi Arabia , Syria , and Tunisia. Finally, the emergence of new actors and economies in conflict zones, which also feed off forced migration, will affect prospects for peace. Yet little more than fragmented and cosmetic initiatives were the response. The threats to Arab lives intensified, and the circle of oppressors expanded. Similar trends are also apparent to a lesser extent in Iraq, Libya, and Yemen and are having an impact on neighboring countries. Former regional powerhouses, such as Egypt and Iraq, are now severely constrained by domestic weaknesses.

Meanwhile, Palestinian statehood is not only receding in an institutional sense, it is also receding from the Palestinian political agenda.

The channel also operates a business website that covers financial news and market data from the Middle East in Arabic alaswaq.

doing business in middle east

Full elections in the PA for president and parliament have only been held in and then for president and for parliament. Alongside their oil-exporting neighbors, oil-importing Arab countries—long dependent on remittances, external assistance, and investment—will face increased fiscal pressures due to the collapse in oil prices.

They built powerful security and intelligence apparatuses and expended enormous energy to carefully stage-manage their political legitimacy—a difficult challenge in Arab republics given their antipathy toward democratic institutions. The political struggles continue, however, with many expressing concern that the administration of President Beji Caid Essebsi, who is ninety, has brought back features of the Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali regime. The show provides analysis on global terror attacks around the globe, shining a spotlight on religious, social, economic, and political factors. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, and millions have been displaced. External pressures have exacerbated state crises. She was three years old when her family moved to Iran in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Urgent priorities include developing a new economic vision for the country, addressing persistent corruption, and devolving some decisionmaking to the local level. The reports called for serious political and economic reforms in order to make the transition to democracy orderly and peaceful. Thus, citizens will increasingly use activism, albeit in forms different from those associated with the Arab Spring, to influence the fate of their countries. For decades, Arab regimes offered social services, subsidies, and government employment in return for little or no citizen participation in decisionmaking—essentially social contracts based on authoritarian bargains. For example, in Syria, the accords to end the sieges of Zabadani in and Darayya in included population transfers. Tunisia Foreword The historic crises in the Middle East are having immeasurable and far-reaching consequences. They broke with formal politics—regime and opposition alike—and channeled new energy into Arab societies and polities using peaceful protests and modern communication technologies. In Tunisia, young citizens have entered formal political arenas and have sustained their strong presence in informal spaces as well as on the protest scene, driven primarily by economic and social dissatisfaction. However, the inherent pressures have been particularly combustible in the Arab world, given institutional deficiencies and the proliferation of conflict, sectarianism, and radicalization.

It also provides interviews with well-known figures. Youth bulges have been historically associated with civil conflicts,12 thus compounding the need for countries with youth bulges to achieve rapid economic growth to keep pace with the abundance of young workers.

Unless democratic transitions are once again seen as viable and new social contracts between ruling establishments and citizens are developed to overcome economic grievances and governance deficits, extremism and terrorism may become more appealing for underprivileged and marginalized groups.

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