Connecting the Dots: The Washington Consensus and the ‘Arab Spring’

Article


Roy-Mukherjee, S. 2015. Connecting the Dots: The Washington Consensus and the ‘Arab Spring’. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies. 17 (2), pp. 141-158.
AuthorsRoy-Mukherjee, S.
Abstract

This paper investigates the socio-economic causes that have led to the recent political instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The MENA region is characterized as one which holds massive hydrocarbon resources and yet suffers from low economic growth and development and high levels of unemployment. This paper shows that the Arab uprisings are linked to the inequalities created by the opening up of the Arab countries to foreign capital and financial agencies, a project that is commonly referred to as the Washington Consensus. This neo-liberal globalization programme has been highly diverse in its effectiveness throughout the MENA region. However, the state still remains the dominant economic player in this region and the Arab population still regards it as the primary provider. The state has been able to hold on to its power by limiting the role of private enterprise and also by maintaining an exclusive nexus between itself and the few prominent private sector companies. Although the wave of disillusionment and frustration amongst the Arab youth washed over the entire region with the same passion and propensity, the reaction of individual governments has been very varied. The future of the region lies in how effectively and efficiently the interim or newly elected governments are able to move their country beyond the pincers of, on the one hand, the Washington Consensus and, on the other, the old, state-centric and inefficient developmental regime.

JournalJournal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies
Journal citation17 (2), pp. 141-158
ISSN1944-8953
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/19448953.2014.993258
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1080/19448953.2014.993258
Publication dates
Online06 Jan 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Nov 2017
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies on 06.01.15, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19448953.2014.993258
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