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  • Author: Juliane Brach, Markus Loewe
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The international financial crisis has hit the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), like other developing regions, unexpectedly, during a long phase of above-average growth. In contrast to other parts of the world, however, most MENA developing countries will able to get off lightly if the crisis does not last for too long. In Turkey and Israel, the region's more industrialized countries, different initial conditions apply and the situation is not comparable to the Arab MENA countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Ellinor Zeino-Mahmalat
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The remarkable stability of the cooperation among the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has generally been explained by these members' mutual dependency on high and stable oil revenues. Since the OPEC countries, however, face the double security dilemma of both domestic and external security threats, they are not simply eager to secure (absolute) oil revenues for the sake of domestic stability; they are also sensitive to the (relative) oil revenues of their competing or even conflicting partners. The existing approaches of rational egoism and defensive positionalism have proven to be rather inadequate in explaining this kind of gain-seeking behavior. This paper therefore develops the new theoretical approach of “gain-seeking mentalities,” with the objective of tracing variations in OPEC members' gain-seeking behaviors. Using this approach, the empirical assessment of Iran and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War and Iraq during the Gulf War of 1990/91 shows the extent to which Iran and Iraq altered their gain-seeking behavior as a result of a changing constellation of threats.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Intelligence, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas Richter, Christian Steiner
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article challenges claims that liberalising state regulated markets in developing countries may induce lasting economic development. The analysis of the rise of tourism in Egypt during the last three decades suggests that the effects of liberalisation and structural adjustment are constrained by the neo-patrimonial character of the Egyptian political system. Since the decline of oil rent revenues during the 1980s tourism development was the optimal strategy to compensate for the resulting fiscal losses. Increasing tourism revenues have helped in coping with macroeconomic imbalances and in avoiding more costly adjustment of traditional economic sectors. Additionally, they provided the private elite with opportunities to generate large profits. Therefore, sectoral transformations due to economic liberalisation in neo-patrimonial Rentier states should be described as a process, which has led to the diversification of external rent revenues, rather than to a general downsizing of the Rentier character of the economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Juliane Brach
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: EU and twelve countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) engaged in 1995 in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) in political, economic and cultural matters with the aim to foster cooperation, stability, and prosperity around the Mediterranean Basin. The Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) plays a central role in the EMP design and implementation, which is centered on economic and trade integration as a starting point for and an anchor of socioeconomic development in the MENA region. Against this background, this paper reviews the situation in the MENA partner countries and the past performance of the EFP. It analyzes the association agreements, economic cooperation and financial assistance, discusses the major obstacles, and outlines the potential of the EFP to shape the European Neighborhood Policy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa