Political Economy and International Financial Institutions in MENA countries

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Since the first wave of structural adjustment and other neoliberal reforms in the MENA region, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have played a major role in shaping, articulating and financing economic policies in the MENA region. These policies have been very consequential for social and economic justice in the region. They have often lead to at deterioration of socio-economic rights, reduced social protection, fewer and less qualitative public services; especially in healthcare and education, increased levels of inequality, and the emergence of new economic elites, connected to authoritarian regimes.

Remarkably, in the light of these issues and the long-term economic crisis in the region, IFIs still advocate for similar economic policies. For example, recent agreements of the IMF regarding loans for Tunisia, Egypt or Jordan have set conditions, which are harmful to the most vulnerable strata of society in these countries: Austerity measures, such as cuts in subsidies, are not offset by social protection nets or investments in public goods.

Additionally, the resources set aside from social spending are often shifted to security and military budgets, instead of sustainable development and long-term investments. Scholars and researchers from the region need to study the consequences of such policies and present feasible alternatives to decision-makers on national and international levels. 

Events

Call for Abstracts: Land and property rights in the Middle East’s contemporary conflicts

FES Research Project, September 2018 to March 2019

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Social (In)Justice in the MENA Region: Debunking the Myth of Neoliberal Economic Policies

Call for Applications for a Summer School on economic policies. Apply now!

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Launching Publication Regional Conference

A new publication by FES is set to shed light on the causes and costs of economic injustices and present feasible alternatives for new economic...

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Alternative Economy and employment

The prospects and types of employment in new and emerging sectors of the economy in the MENA were the subject of the expert workshop. The workshop was...

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Press

Fiscal reforms caused economic downturn, economists argue

AMMAN — Fiscal reforms implemented 10 years ago were the main cause of the downturn in Jordan’s economy, and similar policies are still being...

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Experts say social justice should drive economic policies

AMMAN — Economic policies should strive for social justice and to engage the younger generation in the development process, experts and policy makers...

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Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Department for Middle East and North Africa
FES Berlin
Hiroshimastraße 28
10785 Berlin

info.nahost(at)fes.de

About FES 

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has a network of eleven country offices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and implements projects in a total of 14 countries. Some offices, such as Egypt or Sudan, look back at a history of more than 40 years of cooperation.

Offices in the Region

Publications

Ansatzpunkte einer nationalen Beschäftigungsstrategie für Tunesien

Wirtschaftliche Probleme und soziale Ungerechtigkeiten lösten im Jahr 2011 die Revolution

in Tunesien aus. Seither hat sich viel in Tunesien getan;...

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