A New International Division of Labor?

by James Petras
published in MER94

A number of theorists have recently put forth the notion of a “new international division of labor” in which the old colonial division of labor involving Third World exports of raw materials and imports of finished goods has been transcended. [1] According to this thesis, Third World countries have been industrialized to produce cheap labor-intensive manufacturing goods for export to the core capitalist countries in exchange for more advanced capital-intensive imports. The proponents of the new division of labor argue that this process reflects the new world capitalist rationality and logic.

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The Arab Economies in the 1970s

by Roger Owen
published in MER100-101

The 1970s were undoubtedly the most dramatic and important years in recent Middle Eastern history. The decade began politically with the death of Nasser, the formal withdrawal of the British from the Gulf and the first sharp increase in the price of oil. Oil -- its production and marketing, its revenues, its social impact -- was at the center of the economic transformation of the region. By the end of the decade, most Arab oil regimes (with the exception of Saudi Arabia) had nationalized their reserves and producing facilities and taken formal control of pricing and rates of production. Huge sums of money accrued to the major oil exporters, encouraging mammoth infrastructural investment and equally massive labor migration to the Gulf states and Libya.

Social Bases for the Hama Revolt

by Fred H. Lawson
published in MER110

During the first week of February 1982, serious fighting broke out in Syria between residents of the north-central city of Hamah and the government’s armed forces. A Syrian army raid on a number of buildings that were suspected of being hideouts for local cells of the Muslim Brothers precipitated the fighting. Brother militants foiled this operation using modern small arms and grenade launchers. They then attacked a variety of government installations, including the Hama headquarters of the police and of the Baath party, and also the airfield on the edge of town. By the second day of the fighting, mosques in some sections of the city broadcast calls for a general uprising against the country’s rulers.

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Contesting Welfare State Politics in Kuwait

by Rivka Azoulay , Madeleine Wells
published in MER272

In October 2013, Kuwait’s Prime Minister Jabir al-Mubarak introduced his government’s agenda with a bombshell -- that “the current welfare state to which Kuwaitis are accustomed is not viable.” [1] Government projections estimate that expenditures will exceed oil revenues in only a few years if spending continues at the current rate. Analysis by the International Monetary Fund confirms that this event could happen as early as 2017. [2] The following month, the government declared it would review $16 billion in annual subsidies on goods and services, a spending program that accounts for 22 percent of the budget.

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Bread Is Life

The Intersection of Welfare Politics and Emergency Aid in Jordan

by Jose Ciro Martinez
published in MER272

‘Abd al-Qadir is tall, handsome and unassumingly stylish. With his well-cropped beard, Bob Marley T-shirt and Nike kicks, the young man would not look out of place on the gentrified streets of Brooklyn, the art scene of Belleville or the bustling beaches of his dream destination, Rio de Janeiro. Instead, he lingers in Amman, confronting dark news from home with a disarming smile.

Center-Periphery Relations in Morocco

by David McMurray
published in MER272

In Nador, a regional capital located on the Mediterranean Sea at the eastern end of the Rif Mountains in Morocco, coffee shop talk often turns to the relationship with the capital city, Rabat, a five-hour car ride or a nine-hour train or bus ride to the west. Nadoris are sensitive about their status as residents of an underserved province that they believe the government disdains. But recent, locally driven economic development is also a source of pride for the region.

Poverty Mapping

Geneaology of a Term

by Mona Atia
published in MER272

At the spring 2013 meetings, World Bank President Jim Young Kim set 2030 as the target date for eradicating extreme poverty, defined as subsistence on less than $1.25 per day, across the globe. In line with this goal, the United Nations created a New Global Partnership to lift the 1.2 billion poorest people out of penury in the same time frame. The New Global Partnership or Post-2015 Development Agenda replaces the eight Millennium Development Goals declared in 2000 and calls for a “data revolution” that demands development goals be based on internationally compatible measures.

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Small Farmer Uprisings and Rural Neglect in Egypt and Tunisia

by Habib Ayeb , Ray Bush
published in MER272

“We should make it up to the peasants,” Muhsin al-Batran, erstwhile head of the economic affairs unit in Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture, told the official daily al-Ahram two months after the toppling of Husni Mubarak in 2011. “Make it up” -- why? And what is it that needs to be made up?

Boom, Bust and Boom in Dubai

by Pete Moore | published June 9, 2014 - 9:28am

It’s easy to be critical of Dubai and its socioeconomic model.

Brett, International Money and Capitalist Crisis

by Karen Pfeifer
published in MER122

E. A. Brett, International Money and Capitalist Crisis: The Anatomy of Global Disintegration (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1983).

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