Improving social protection in the Arab countries

Project Lead:
Markus Loewe

Time frame:
2002 - 2017 / completed

Project description

Research Question:
Social policies in Arab countries tend to be ineffective, inefficient and inegalitarian. They are unable to reduce poverty or foster investment and growth. The reason is that authoritarian rulers of Arab countries use social policies for political rather than social or economic purposes: for their own legitimisation and the interests of their clientele rather than the well-being of the poor. Social policies in Arab countries are thus characterised by the dominance of the state as the only important actor in the sector, by the preferential treatment of urban middle classes, by low inefficiency and sustainability and by lack of active labour market policies. Comprehensive reforms are thus due, and they are challenged by political rather than financial or capacity factors.