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The Journal for politics, economics, and culture of the Middle East published by the German Orient-Institute

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01/10/18

Economic deprivation, political de-legitimacy and the rise of new citizen movements in the MENA region

While the Arab Spring is seen as a failure, except perhaps for Tunisia, this article argues that because conditions for uprisings in favor of citizen rights are still strong new citizen movements will continue to re-emerge throughout the Middle East in protest against economic deprivation and political corruption. Two in particular are analyzed: the Basra movement and Hirak in the Moroccan Rif.

Roel Meijer is Associate Professor, teaching Middle East history and politics at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Department of Religious Studies.

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01/10/18

Solid waste management in the MENA region: A comparative analysis of Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia

This paper compares solid waste management in Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia; countries that are at different stages in terms of waste management but they share similarities pertaining to waste practices, sources and types of waste, demographics, waste infrastructure, and governing systems. By applying a cross-country comparison, similarities are identified and differences pertaining to the governance of the sector highlighted. The effort would help establish an exchange platform for policy-related issues and lessons learned.

Yasmina El Amine is an environmental scientist, and current project coordinator at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut (AUB). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from AUB, and a Master of Science in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, with a focus on water Management. Her research interests are at the interface of climate change, water security, sustainability, and development, framed through an interdisciplinary, and systems-thinking lens.

Chafik Abdallah is a Research Assistant at Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and Inter-national Affairs in American University of Beirut. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture, Diploma of Agricultural Engineer, and a Master’s of Science in Irrigation and water Resources Management, all from the American University of Beirut. His research interests revolve around water management and use, efficient irrigation design, remote sensing and climate change.

Rana El Hajj is program manager for Climate Change and Environment at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (AUB). In her current capacity El Hajj works on advancing and linking research to policy on climate change related topics in Lebanon and the Middle East and North Africa region and on bridging the gap between different stakeholders. Current focus areas include climate change adaptation; waterenergy-food security nexus; regional security; water governance; and resilience in cities.

Nadim Farajalla is the director of the Climate Change and the Environment Program at the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs. His current research focuses on the impact of climate change on human settlements and activities with focus on adaptation and resilience; the nexus of water-energy-food security and climate change; and recovery of devastated land due to anthropogenic activities such as wars, farming, quarrying, etc.

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01/10/18

Strategic policymaking and Germany’s MENA aid programme

The dramatic increases in Germany’s official aid to MENA countries since 2011 have not been accompanied by a public strategy setting out Germany’s objectives in the region. This raises the questions of what the German government’s strategic objectives for its MENA aid are, and whether they actually address development and humanitarian challenges in the region. Although new priorities have been set, Germany’s MENA aid programme shows signs of policy incoherence and fragmentation. A whole-of-government strategy based on the Sustainable Development Goals would help balance German interests with the MENA region’s development priorities.

Mark Furness is a researcher in the Inter- and Transnational Cooperation with the Global South Research Programme at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in Bonn. His research and policy advisory work focuses on German and European development cooperation, policy coherence, and the MENA region.

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01/10/18

Autocracy, democracy and populism in the Arab region with reference to Tunisia

In contrast with populism’s recent manifestations in the west, where concerns of its posing a threat to established democracies have been raised, in the Arab region populist movements have often played a positive role in promoting transition towards democratic governance, the Tunisian experience being a notable illustration. A main explanation of this difference lies in the contrasting political contexts in the west and the Arab world: entrenched democracies vs with one or two exceptions varying forms of autocracies.

Hajer El Ouardani is Assistant Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic and Quantitative Methods Department, the Higher School of Economic and Commercial Sciences at the University of Tunis; researcher at the “Prospective, Stratégies et Développement Durable” laboratory (University of Tunis El Manar) and member the Centre d’Etudes en Macroéconomie et Finance Internationale (Nice,France). Her research interests include monetary and fiscal economics and economies of the Middle East region.

Samir Makdisi is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Founding Director of the Institute of Financial Economics, the American University of Beirut; member of the Board of Trustees, Economic Research Forum for the Arab Countries, Iran and Turkey (Cairo); and Member of the Board of Directors of the Forum for Euro-Med. Economic Research Institutes (Marseilles).His research interests include monetary, international and development economics and the political economy of the Middle East region.

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01/10/18

Gender equality in entrepreneurship in the Near and Middle East

In this article we shed light on the determining factors affecting the development of female entrepreneurship in MENA countries. we overview social, legal and economic backgrounds and based on this review as well as our conducted studies, we draw a series of recommendations in order to overcome difficulties and foster female entrepreneurship in the region.

Mohsen Tavakoli is a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate. His major research interests lie in analysing the interplay between entrepreneurship development and entrepreneurship education, the internationalisation process of SMEs and health in the workplace.

Catherine Laffineur is an Associate Professor of Economics at University Côte d’Azur, specialising in labour economics, international economics and entrepreneurship. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Small Business Economics, Review of world Economics, and Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Alain Fayolle is a Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and the founder of the Entrepreneurship Research Centre at EM Lyon Business School, France. He received the 2013 European Entrepreneurship Education Award and was elected Chair of the AOM Entrepreneurship Division for the 2016-2017 academic year. In 2015, he was named a wilford L. white Fellow by the International Council for Small Business.

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01/10/18

The Middle East politics of entrepreneurship: A brief review on entrepreneurship as a foreign policy tool in Gulf Cooperation Council countries

The paper aims to present a brief review besides relevant discussions of the usage of entrepreneurship as a foreign policy tool among Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Therefore, statesponsored ecopreneurship, social entrepreneurship and commercial entrepreneurship among the states have been seen as the promotion of the foreign politics of the six Arab states. Moreover, for each one of the states a policy was defined and introduced.

Amin Forouharfar is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Sistan and Baluchestan (USB), located in southeast of Iran. His expertise is on the fields of Public Administration strategies and entrepreneurship, especially in the MENA region.

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01/10/18

Economic reforms as a means to diversification in the Arab Gulf states

The current economic reform agenda unfolding across the Arab Gulf states is a reaction to the sharp decline in oil prices that began in late 2014. As prices recover, there are threats to the immediacy of the fiscal pressure to reform, but the larger pressures to diversify economies away from resource dependency in ways that build private sectors that can supply jobs and boost productivity remain strong. Governments are at a crossroads. There will be important variation in policy formation, opportunity creation and service delivery in the region. These are experimental times in Gulf policy formation and governance. Economic governance is increasingly connected to ambitious foreign policies and questions on the state’s commitment to citizens, and its reliance on foreign labour.

Karen E. Young is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She teaches courses on the politics and economics of the Middle East at George Washington University and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her research focuses on the political economy of the Gulf states and emerging markets.

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01/10/18

Vision 2030: Success thus far

The article focuses on Saudi Arabia’s political economy under the Vision 2030 reforms. It seeks to analyse the reforms as related to employment and tourism to gauge their success thus far. The article concludes that as far as can be ascertained the targets for tourism are proceeding as planned and will be achieved by 2030. To counter unemployment it appears that at present the proposed reforms are not having the desired impact. This is not set in stone as future initiatives, foreign direct investment and an increased public consciousness of the value of the private sector and innovation can alter this trajectory.

Curran Flynn is an Assistant Professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). His research interests include, classical realism, the IPE of the Gulf and geopolitics.

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01/10/18

Orient IV 2018

Karen E. Young
Economic reforms as a means to diversification in the Arab Gulf states

Curran Flynn
Vision 2030: Success thus far Mark Furness Strategic policymaking and Germany’s MENA aid programme

Yasmina El Amine, Chafik Abdallah, Rana El Hajj and Nadim Farajalla
Solid waste management in the MENA region: A comparative analysis of Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia

Roel Meijer
Economic deprivation, political corruption and the rise of new citizen movements in the MENA region

Amir Forouharfar
The Middle East politics of entrepreneurship: A brief review on entrepreneurship as a foreign policy tool in Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Mohsen Tavakoli, Catherine Laffineur and Alain Fayolle
Gender equality in entrepreneurship in the Near and Middle East

Hajer El Ouardani and Samir Makdisi
Autocracy, democracy and populism in the Arab region

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01/07/18

Despite the growing alienation between Turkey and the EU: A continuation of the accession process remains the best option

Based on a description of the deterioration of EU-Turkey relations in recent years, this article illustrates the disadvantages of further alienation for both sides, arguing that, despite the political tensions, there is no alternative to the continuation of the dialogue, which would better serve the economic and security interests of both sides. The best strategy therefore is to focus on concrete projects of mutual benefit, such as the cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, the diversification of energy imports or the modernisation of the customs union, whereas the issue of EU membership should be postponed for the time being.

Alexander Bürgin is Associate Professor, Jean Monnet Chair and Head of the EU Research Center at Izmir University of Economics. His current research focuses on the power relations within and across the EU institutions, the external influence of the EU, and EU-Turkey relations.

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01/07/18

From the outside looking in: The three rationalities of the German policy debate on Egypt

Three rationalities are competing to shape the debate on German policy towards Egypt following the forceful removal of its democratically-elected president from power in July 2013: a politicaleconomic rationality, a moral rationality and a developmental rationality. This paper provides a comparative analysis of the three rationalities, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. The paper concludes by suggesting that the best interest of Germany and Egypt could be better served if the proponents of these three rationalities, from both countries, could engage in a deep and reflexive dialogue aimed at forging a synthesis among their views.

Ahmed Badawi currently works as a Senior Researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, the Free University Berlin, and as the Co-Executive Director of Transform: Centre for Conflict Engagement and Political Development. His current research interest is the political economy of development in the Arab world, with a focus on the problem of the state in the Arab republics: how could it be studied, why has it failed, and could it be rebuilt?

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01/07/18

German Near and Middle East policy: Challenges and strategy

Taking the new Merkel-IV government’s Coalition Treaty (CT) and its passages relevant for Germany’s foreign policy towards the Near and Middle East as point of departure, the introduction to this Orient issue will revolve around the question as to what degree German foreign policy in the region can and should be considered strategic. Based on this assessment, we develop recommendations.

Ludwig Schulz and Benedikt van den Woldenberg are the Co-Heads of ORIENT’s Editorial Office.

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