The social contract as a tool of analysis: introduction to the special issue on “Framing the evolution of new social contracts in Middle Eastern and North African countries”

Loewe, Markus / Tina Zintl / Annabelle Houdret
External Publications (2021)

in: World Development 145, article 104982


The term “social contract” is increasingly used in social science literature but is rarely well operationalised. We define social contracts as sets of agreements between societal groups and their sovereign on rights and obligations toward each other. The notion of social contracts helps to compare state-society relations in different countries and at different times. After independence, MENA countries had similar social contracts, which were then challenged by the Arab uprisings in 2010-11. Since then, social contracts in MENA countries have developed in different directions.


About the authors

Houdret, Annabelle

Political Scientist


Loewe, Markus



Zintl, Tina

Political Scientist


Further experts

Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Science 

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist 

Dick, Eva

Sociologist and Spatial Planner 

El-Haddad, Amirah


Fiedler, Charlotte

Political Scientist 

Grävingholt, Jörn

Political Scientist 

Gutheil, Lena

Cultural Anthropology 

Hadank-Rauch, Rebecca

Environmental and Development Sciences 

Haldenwang, Christian von

Political Scientist 

Leininger, Julia

Political Scientist 

Mehl, Regine

Political Science 

Morare, Ditebogo Modiegi

Political Science 

Mross, Karina

Political Scientist 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Scientist 

Roll, Michael


Saibu, Ghadafi

Political Science 

Wingens, Christopher

Political Scientiest