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Political Economy

عين صندوق النقد الدولي على الريوع النفطية: مثال الكويت

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حين زار وفد صندوق النقد الدولي الكويت في أيلول/سبتمبر الماضي، لمناقشة «مواضيع مرتبطة بالسياسات المالية وإدارة الثروات»، جاء حاملاً جملة مخاوف، من بينها احتمال أن تتعرض الكويت لعجز كبير في الميزانية العامة للدولة «بسبب عدم التحكم في الإنفاق العام، وبسبب كلفة وعدم كفاءة الخدمات التي تقدمها في مختلف القطاعات»، علاوة على ما تستنزفه «فاتورة الدعومات الكبيرة ضمن الموازنة العامة». ولتأكيد واقعية هذه المخاوف، أشار الوفد إلى تقلبات سوق النفط العالمي و«توقع انخفاض سعر برميل النفط ليتراوح ما بين 65 إلى 70 دولاراً بحلول 2018»، (وهذا توقع مبالِغ في تشاؤمه تقابله توقعات معاكسة له). من جهة أخرى امتدح وفد الصندوق الجهود الحكومية، إلا إنه طالبها بالعمل على إقناع مجلس الأمة بقبول التوصيات ...

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'Justifications of Power': Neoliberalism and the Role of Empire

[Anti-WEF grafitti in Lausanne, Switzerland, after the 2004 WEF in Evian (France). The writting reads:

[This article is the second in a three-part Jadaliyya series that looks at Foucault's work in relationship to the legacy of French colonialism in North Africa. Read the first installment here: "The Dangers of Liberalism: Foucault and Postcoloniality in France" by Diren Valayden] “I am like the crawfish and advance sideways.”[1] So Foucault warns us in the Birth of Biopolitics. And indeed, one would need to be an extremely nimble, if not heroic, crawfish to claim that Foucault espoused a serious reflection on French colonialism in North Africa. Point taken. What is irrefutable, however, is that his writings have had an enormous impact on ...

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Jihadism and Contraband on Tunisia's Borders

[Logo of International Crisis Group. Image from crisisgroup.org]

 [The following briefing was published by the International Crisis Group on 28 November 2013] Jihadism and Contraband on Tunisia's Borders Executive Summary and Recommendations Tunisia is embroiled in recurrent political crises whose origins in security concerns are ever more evident. While still of low-intensity, jihadi attacks are increasing at an alarming rate, fuelling the rumour mill, weakening the state and further polarising the political scene. The government coalition, dominated by the Islamist An-Nahda, and the secular opposition trade accusations, politicising questions of national security rather than addressing them. Meanwhile, the gap widens between ...

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الجدل حول مبادرة كيري الاقتصادية: مآخذ ومنافع ومخاطر

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اذا رأيت جارك يحمل غرضاً، فاسرع بمساعدته، ولا تخطئ ظنك بأن تجد الجنة في تلك الدار المجاورة. بوب ديلان ”The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest”  منذ اللحظة الأولى لإعلان وزير الخارجية الأميركي جون كيري في أيار 2013 عن إعداد خطة استثمارية عالمية تحت شعار "تنمية الاقتصاد الفلسطيني"،  لم تنقطع التعليقات المؤيدة والمستنكرة والمتسائلة من مختلف الجهات، وخاصة الفلسطينية، حول الدوافع الأميركية ومغزى الخطة ومضمونها. وعند إطلاق المبادرة بصياغتها الأولية بمبلغ استثماري مقترح بـ 4$ مليار، طُرحت وفُهمت على نطاق واسع بأنها تشكل تشجيعاً ملموساً للأطراف (أو ربما طعماً للطرف الفلسطيني) بموازاة الجهود لإحياء المفاوضات الإسرائيلية-الفلسطينية حول حل ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kamran Matin, Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change

[Cover of Kamran Matin,

Kamran Matin, Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kamran Matin (KM): My main motivation in writing this book came from my dissatisfaction with existing accounts of the Iranian Revolution. Previous accounts imputed an "exceptional" character to the revolution on the grounds of its religious form. The argument that the revolution was "exceptional" neutralized the contradiction between the revolution’s religious form and the secular eschatology of modernity central to the traditions of classical social theory underpinning these ...

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Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread? The Politics of Flour in Hashemite Jordan

[Various breads laid out at a local bakery in Amman, Jordan. Image by José Ciro Martínez]

The recently concluded winter storm recovery efforts provided the Jordanian regime with a welcome respite from the array of issues that currently occupy center stage in public debates. These include—but are not limited to—the Syrian refugee crisis, parliamentary corruption, and proposed “political reforms.” Nevertheless, there is another issue that eludes the notice of journalists and analysts, one significantly more sensitive than the topics capturing daily headlines. As the kingdom’s citizens and residents look tentatively towards the future, they wonder whether the state will continue to provide them their daily bread. A Brief History of the “Bread Subsidy” Jordan ...

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Open Letter to Scarlett Johansson and Oxfam

[A parody of Scarlett Johansson's involvement with Soda Stream. Image by Stephanie Westbrook of BDS Italia.]

Scarlett Johansson Actor, Hollywood. Winnie Byanyima Executive Director, Oxfam.  Dear Ms. Johansson and Ms. Byanyima, We are writing to you about the involvement of Ms. Johansson as the Global Ambassador for Oxfam at the same time as she is the Brand Ambassador for Sodastream. Sodastream, as we will show, is an Israeli company that is based on an illegal settlement, illegal according to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949). Not only are we concerned with Ms. Johansson’s involvement with this firm, but we are equally troubled by how her work erodes Oxfam’s credibility as a social justice organization. Sodastream at Ma’aleh ...

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The Palestinian Capitalists That Have Gone Too Far

[Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad speaks at a ceremony announcing the first Palestinian commercial financial bond, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, May 10, 2011 (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)]

While most Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are struggling to survive, a powerful group of Palestinian capitalists is thriving and growing in political, economic and social influence. The cost, all too often, is their engagement in economic normalization projects. In other words, they deal with the Israelis as though they were a “normal” business partner rather than an occupying power that has ruthlessly violated Palestinian rights for over sixty-five years.  In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Member Tariq Dana sheds light on the ways in which these Palestinian capitalists exercise political influence and social control and gives examples of the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Adam Hanieh, Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East

[Cover of Adam Hanieh,

Adam Hanieh, Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book and what are its key themes?  Adam Hanieh (AH): The book was written over the course of 2011 and 2012 and was intended as a contribution to some of the debates that emerged in these first years of the Arab uprisings. I did not want to write another narrative account of the uprisings themselves. This was partly because these were events still unfolding and shifting rapidly from day-to-day; it was also because there had already been several very useful books published along these lines, including, of ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 31)

[This map of the Arabian Peninsula by the German publisher Christoph Weigel, published in 1720, shows Arabia Felix, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Petraea. Image via Wikimedia Commons]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations  Sunni monarchs back YouTube hate preachers: Anti-Shia propaganda threatens a sectarian civil war which will engulf the entire Muslim world Patrick Cockburn argues that the anti-Shia discourse that Sunni preachers adopt and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies sponsor can a spark a ...

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Toward a Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings (Part Two)

[Cover of

[Part One of this article can be found here.] The Evolution of the Authoritarian Coalition and the Role of the Middle Classes In the initial decades after independence, Arab governments—and especially the republics—introduced policies that led to significant social change. In particular, statist economic policies coupled with welfare programs and subsidies on basic food items and fuel facilitated the rise of proto-middle classes. Public-sector workers, benefiting from job security and social benefits, were the most important component of the new middle classes. Also emerging was a professional class composed of doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers, and others who ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 24)

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[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations A Film Joins the Fight between the Syrians and Saudis Rania Abouzeid reviews Najdat Anzour’s “The King of the Sand,” a film that negatively portrays King Abdulaziz, founder of the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia.   Philip Hammond ignores the truth about drone atrocities Clive Stafford ...

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Call for Papers: Understanding Israeli Practices of Forced Displacement and Settler Colonialism in the OPT (Deadline: 1 May)

Understanding Israeli Practices of Forced Displacement and Settler Colonialism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Journal of Internal Displacement Guest Editor: Lamya Hussain   Deadline: May 1st 2014  Emerging literature on Palestine studies continues to explore the policies and practices of Israel in forcefully displacing Palestinians from their lands. Recent scholarship has placed an emphasis on the West Bank and East Jerusalem area where an estimated 44,100 Palestinians ...

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EIPR Report Reveals $10 Billion Lost in Corrupt Gas Contracts as Daily Blackouts Spread in Egypt

[The following report was published by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights on 13 March 2014] Egypt lost $10 billion in gas revenues from 2005-2011, according to a report launched yesterday by EIPR. Contracts signed during the Mubarak years allowed the export of billions of cubic metres of underpriced gas to Jordan, Spain and the Israeli state. Some of the individuals behind these deals were convicted of corruption. EIPR's new report uses court data to quantify the revenues lost to Egypt by ...

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Conference-New Directions in Palestinian Studies: Political Economy (Brown University, 28 Feb. - 1 Mar.)

Middle East Studies at Brown University presents: Political Economy and the Economy of Politics: New Directions in Palestinian Studies Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, 2014 Joukowsky Forum Watson Institute for International Studies 111 Thayer Street Providence, RI 02912 There is now a critical mass of innovative scholars in the US, Europe, and the Middle East who work on Palestine and the Palestinians. The field has grown quantitatively and qualitatively, with new lines ...

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Call for Papers: Special Issue of Critical Sociology on 'Sociological Imagination in the Middle East'

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Critical Sociology "Sociological Imagination in the Middle East" Beginning in 1969, Critical Sociology has examined social structures, social change, and social problems through the lenses of the critical imagination. Critical Sociology publishes scholarly work on transnational and global sociology, and as a result of its initiatives, Latin American, and African Sociology is now represented in the journal. Recently, the journal has appointed a Middle ...

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أهل التحديث يا ليل: عن أساطير التحديث الاقتصادي في مصر القادمة

من الملفت للنظر أن نرى، أنَّ بعض التحليلات التي تنتقد أفكار التغيير الثوري في مصر وتروج لوهم التحديث السلطوي القادم تدَّعي بنفسها الواقعية والعقلانية المترفعة فوق التفكير الخيالي الساذج للثوريين أصحاب النوايا الحسنة والتي تقود إلى الجحيم. بينما في حقيقة الأمر نجد أن هذه التحليلات، وما يتنج عنها من مقترحات وتصورات سياسية، لا تزيد عن تفكير خيالي،  تفكير تواق منعزل تماماً عن واقع ما حدث وما يحدث وما يمكن أن يحدث في مصر. واقع عمل مؤسسات الدولة وواقع عمل الاقتصاد السياسي للبلاد وواقع المصالح الاقتصادية ...

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الرأسمالية الفلسطينية المتمادية

لمحة عامة تكافح غالبية الفلسطينيين الرازحين تحت الاحتلال الإسرائيلي من أجل البقاء على قيد الحياة، وفي الوقت نفسه تشهد فئةٌ متنفذةٌ من الرأسماليين الفلسطينيين ازدهارًا وتناميًا في نفوذها السياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي. وغالبًا ما يكون ثمن ذلك الازدهار مشاركتهم في مشاريع التطبيع الاقتصادي. أي أن هؤلاء الرأسماليين الفلسطينيين يتعاملون مع الإسرائيليين كما لو كانوا شريكًا تجاريًا "طبيعيًا" وليس قوةً محتلة ما انفكت تنتهك حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني بلا رحمة منذ ما يزيد على 65 عامًا. يُسلِّط عضو الشبكة طارق ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 January)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.]  Palestine-Israel Israel's African Asylum Seekers Go on Strike, Ruth Margalit The New Yorker covers the opposition of African migrants in Israel ...

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The Armed Conflict in South Sudan: An Interview with Khalid Medani

Two and half years after its birth, the world’s youngest nation-state, South Sudan, is engulfed in a crisis which has escalated into an armed conflict between two factions in the ruling People Liberation Movement. The political protagonists jockeying for power come from the ranks of the rebels who fought against the Sudanese central government in the 1983-2005 civil war. The war resulted in a loss of two million lives and the displacement of four million people in southern Sudan. Fighting broke out on ...

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New CLUSTER Publications: Learning from Cairo and Archiving the City in Flux

CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research) aims at establishing a critical space for urban discourse. CLUSTER engages critical theorization while being grounded in professional practice, negotiating the blurred boundaries between formal/institutional regulations and everyday urban informality. On 12-14 April 2013, CLUSTER co-organized with the American University in Cairo, an international symposium entitled “Learning from Cairo” at AUC Tahrir Square. Two new ...

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The Delusions of Representing Male Homosexuality in Beirut

Journalistic and popular accounts have often extolled Beirut as a haven for gay men. These accounts of male homosexuality in Beirut–like this NYT article, this NPR recording, as well as these articles in The Guardian and the Huffington Post–produce a particularly problematic model of queer[1] life in the city. This model uses several sets of binaries to make sense of sexual non-normativity (queerness) in the city without reflecting on who and what this narrow grid excludes. By doing so, the model ends up ...

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Toward a Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings (Part One)

A framework to explain the Arab uprisings should provide an account of the socioeconomic and political evolution of the Arab republics that would explain both the persistence of autocracy until 2011 and its eventual collapse and should do so in a way that is empirically verifiable. Different analysts would approach such an ambitious question in distinct ways. Some would stress contingency and agency, and undeniably, there were such elements in the particular timing of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. ...

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The State of Play in Palestine: A Roundtable

Veterans of twenty years of empty negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians may too easily dismiss the current talks, led by United States Secretary of State John Kerry, as simply more of the same. Yet they are occurring in a dramatically changed political environment. What are the implications for Palestine of the regional upheavals of the past few years? How sincere are Kerry and the EU in their apparent determination to secure an agreement? What would that settlement look like? And what other ...

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