Globalisation and contentious politics in the MENA

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This article is featured in the ORIENT I 2019

Globalisation is widely accused in the MENA of being a false flag for neo-colonialism. Paradoxically it is the slowing of globalisation that poses the greater threat to the region’s political economies because it puts downward pressure on oil and gas prices, renders more difficult the challenge of diversifying economies away from hydrocarbons, and reduces pressures for reform of authoritarian orders. The MENA, in sum, missed a golden opportunity to benefit from the post-Cold War globalisation wave by failing to liberalise its economies and polities while moving up production ladders.

Robert Springborg is research fellow at the Italian Institute of International Affairs in Rome; and Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His most recent book is Egypt.

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