Arab Economics After the Gulf War

by Yahya Sadowski
published in MER170

On February 6, 1991, Secretary of State James Baker admitted before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee that economic factors, particularly widespread Arab resentment that oil wealth was not more equitably distributed, had played a role in the dynamics leading to the Gulf war and would remain one of the primary “sources of conflict” in the region. To ease these tensions, he proposed the creation of an economic organization through which oil-rich states could fund the reconstruction and development of their poorer neighbors. [1] The following day, Baker advocated the creation of a multinational “Middle East Development Bank” to attain these objectives. [2]

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Funding Fundamentalism

The Political Economy of an Islamist State

by Abbashar Jamal
published in MER172

While Islamic fundamentalism has become a major political force in the Arab world in recent years, particularly in the countries of the Maghrib, it is in Sudan where the Islamist movement has realized its greatest ambition: controlling the levers of state power and setting itself up as a model for similarity oriented movements. Its leaders in Sudan have actively supported groups elsewhere -- reportedly helping to plan a recent failed military coup in Tunis and convening meetings with high officials of Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Khartoum. [1]

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Democracy Dilemmas in Jordan

by Abla Amawi
published in MER174

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Amirahmadi, Revolution and Economic Transition

by Misagh Parsa
published in MER176

Hooshang Amirahmadi, Revolution and Economic Transition: The Iranian Experience (SUNY, 1990).

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Israel's Economic Strategy for Palestinian Independence

by Asher Davidi
published in MER184

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Regionalism and Geopolitics in the Maghrib

by Robert Mortimer
published in MER184

In February 1993, the Arab Maghrib Union (AMU) marked its fourth anniversary. Despite the great hopes that were vested in this regional economic organization, it has not thrived. [1] There have been five summit meetings since the Treaty of Marrakesh was signed to great fanfare, but the heads of state have been sorely distracted by issues other than building an economic union in North Africa: the unresolved matter of Western Sahara, the Islamist movement in Algeria, the international sanctions against Libya, the pressure for democratization in Mauritania and Tunisia, even the Persian Gulf war.

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The Economic Dimension of Yemeni Unity

by Sheila Carapico
published in MER184

To the outside world, the unification of the two Yemens in 1990 resembled the German experience in miniature. North Yemen (the Yemen Arab Republic, YAR) was considered a laissez faire market economy, whereas the South (the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, PDRY) was “the communist one.” When, weeks ahead of Bonn and Berlin, Sanaa and Aden announced their union, Western commentary assumed that in Yemen, as in Germany, capitalist (Northern) firms would buy out the moribund (Southern) state sector and provide the basis for future economic growth.

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The Saudi Economy: A Few Years Yet Until Doomsday

by Fareed Mohamedi
published in MER185

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An Interview with Charles Shammas

by Joe Stork
published in MER186

Charles Shammas is the founder and project director of Mattin, an industry promotion organization in the West Bank. He is also a founding member of al-Haq, a leading Palestinian human rights organization, and of the Jerusalem-based Center for International Human Rights Enforcement. Joe Stork spoke with him in late October 1993.

I’ve detected a lot of pessimism here about the way things have been developing since the Oslo accords were announced.

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