Rules on Paper, Rules in Practice: Reducing Discretion and Enforcing Laws in the Middle East and North Africa

by Edouard Aldahdah, Cristina Corduneanu-Huci, Gael Raballand, Ernest Sergenti, and Myriam Ababsa. World Bank.


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Will Forcibly Displaced Syrians get their Land Back?

Paul Prettitore

Senior Public Sector Specialist,

World Bank



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Year in Review: 2015 in 12 Charts

Now that we've reached the end of 2015, it's clear this was a year of major milestones, emerging trends, and new beginnings. Among other things, 2015 marked a historic drop in poverty, a major climate change agreement, and record low child and maternal mortality rates. Take a look at what the data show.

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Hafez Ghanem gives a thorough assessment of the Arab Spring, beginning with political developments since the revolutions and changes in the legal and institutional frameworks that affect economies. Arab economies grew at healthy rates before the revolts, but the benefits of economic growth were unfairly distributed.

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World Bank Study: Middle-Class Frustration Fueled the Arab Spring; Economic Indicators Failed to Predict Arab Uprisings

Judging by economic data alone, the revolutions of the 2011 Arab Spring should have never happened. A long-time reliance on economic indicators as a barometer of progress in Middle Eastern and North African countries masked the level of frustration and dissatisfaction in the region ahead of the ‘Arab Spring.’ 

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What is the Social Contract? Why does the Arab World Need a New One?

The ‘social contract’ is an idea that dates back to the ancient Greeks, and refers to the implicit agreement among members of a society that defines their relationship with each other and the state. That relationship holds the key to unravelling the puzzle of the ‘Arab Spring.’ 

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Capturing the Refugee Crisis Through a Camera Lens - The Work of Emily Pinna

Interview by:

Franscesca Recanatini

Senior Economist

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Suggested New Books

This report maintains that Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries face a critical choice in their quest for higher private sector growth and more jobs: promote competition, equal opportunities for all entrepreneurs and dismantle existing privileges to specific firms or risk perpetuating the current equilibrium of low job creation. 

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