From the Editors
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Mona Harb and Sami Atallah
New Texts Out Now: Mona Harb and Sami Atallah, Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World
Mona Harb and Sami Atallah, editors, Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World. Beirut: LCPS-OSF, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Mona Harb and Sami Atallah (MH and SA): We wanted to write this book since we first met at a conference on local governments at the current Institut Français du Proche-Orient of Beirut in 2000, which led to a publication that remains a reference on the topic. Mona was ...Keep Reading »
Introduction: Decentralization on the Agenda One of the major features of democracies is the extent to which the state is decentralized. With the advent of democratic transformations in the Arab world, decentralization already is or will soon be on the reform agenda. Decentralization is desired for two reasons: one, it enhances democracy, and participation in managing local affairs; two, it consequently leads to better developmental outcomes. The assumption here is that ...Keep Reading »
Mona Harb is Professor of Urban Studies and Politics at the American University of Beirut. She is the co-editor of co-author of Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World (with Sami Atallah, Beirut: LCPS 2015), Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi’ite South Beirut (with Lara Deeb, Princeton University Press, 2013), and author of Le Hezbollah à Beyrouth (1985-2005): de la banlieue à la ville, (Karthala-IFPO, 2010). She is currently investigating decentralization, local governments and urban development policies in the Arab world, as well as youth activism and urban politics in Beirut. Mona is founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya's Cities Page. Click here to visit her profile.
Sami Atallah, who is trained in economics and political science, is the director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS). Prior to joining LCPS, he served as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations Development Program in Lebanon and Syria. Atallah also served as an advisor for the Lebanese Ministries of Finance, Industry, and Interior and Municipalities, as well as in the Prime Minister’s Office. In addition, he taught economics and political economy at the American University of Beirut (AUB). At LCPS, he is currently leading several policy studies on the governance of the gas sector, electoral behavior, monitoring the Parliament and political parties, economic diversification and industrial policy, and decentralization and service delivery. From November 2012 till April 2014, Atallah served on the Committee established by the Lebanese Prime Minister to draft a decentralization law. He has several policy and academic publications. He is the editor of Towards Achieving a Transparent and Accountable National Budget in Lebanon (Beirut: LCPS 2013), and co-editor of Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World (with Mona Harb, Beirut: LCPS 2015). Atallah has also co-authored a paper entitled “The Emergence of Highly Sophisticated Export Products: Evidence from Lebanon” (with Ilina Srour, ERF working paper, 2014).