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This chapter summarizes the analytical findings of the book, along with discussion about the hypothesis, the current situation regarding the political economy of the MENA region, specifically Tunisia, and the way ahead. Tunisia is presented as an ideal model for the region to follow for peaceful, non-violent political, social, and economic transformations, reforms, and transitions.
This analysis sheds light on the MENA region’s political economy trends, which have shown little improvement since the 2002 Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) was published. Because the political and economic variables are interdependent, especially in the era of globalization, the health of the MENA region’s political economy presupposes good governance and sound policy-making. However, the region unequivocally illustrates the direct opposite, that is, the preponderance of violent conflicts and wars which perpetuate cycles of humanitarian crises; poor domestic economic policies; poverty and glaring economic class gaps; prevalence of corruption; propensity for authoritarianism; marginalization, if not suppression, of women’s rights and empowerment; and persistent deficiencies in education, knowledge, and information. Due to these factors, the MENA region is seemingly regressing, rather than progressing, and that makes the Tunisia model all the more attractive.
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Ozgur Gokmen, “Five Years after the Arab Uprisings: An Interview with Asef Bayat,” Eutopia On Middle East, Islam, Diversity and Democracy, May 3, 2016: http://www.eutopiainstitute.org/2016/05/five-years-after-the-arab-uprisings-an-interview-with-asef-bayat/
Philippe Schmitter, “Democratization and Political Elites or Political Elites and Democratization or The Process of Democratization and the Role of Elites or the Role of Elites in Democratization or Democratization: The Role of Elites,” European University Institute, p. 1: https://www.eui.eu/Documents/DepartmentsCentres/SPS/Profiles/Schmitter/DEMOCRATIZATION-AND-POLITICAL-ELITES.REV.pdf
Guillermo O’Donnell, “The Perpetual Crises of Democracy,” Journal of Democracy, vol. 18, January 2007 (pp. 5–11): https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/article/perpetual-crises-democracy
See Elizabeth Shakman Hurd in Chap. 1.
Sarah Chayes, “How a Leftist Labor Union Helped Force Tunisia’s Political Settlement,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 27, 2014: https://carnegieendowment.org/2014/03/27/how-leftist-labor-union-helped-force-tunisia-s-political-settlement-pub-55143
Interview with Souad Goussami Hajji, Tunis, Tunisia, July 17, 2017.
Safwan M. Masri, Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), p. 295.
A Political Economy of the Middle East, fourth edition. Edited by Melani Cammett, Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards, and John Waterbury (Boulder: Westview Press, 2015), p. 515.
- Chapter 7
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