MENA Books


The Arab Spring Five Years Later, by Hafez Ghanem

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. The politically connected reaped great benefits, while educated youth could not find decent jobs, and the poor and middle class struggled to make ends meet. Ghanem advises that Arab countries need to adopt new economic policies and programs that enhance inclusiveness, expand the middle class, and foster growth in undeveloped regions. Key elements include strengthening economic institutions, developing small businesses, reforming the education system to better prepare Arab youth for the modern labor market, promoting gender equality with the objective of raising female labor market participation rates, and setting up programs for rural and regional development to reduce inequality and eliminate extreme poverty.


Arab Dawn: Arab Youth and the Demographic Dividend They Will Bring

by Bessma Momani. University of Toronto Press.

Change is on its way in the Middle East, argues Bessma Momani, and its cause is demographic. Today, 1 in 5 Arabs is between the ages of 15 and 24. Young, optimistic, and increasingly cosmopolitan, their generation will shape the region’s future. Drawing on interviews, surveys, and other research conducted with young people in fifteen countries across the Arab world, Momani describes the passion for entrepreneurship, reform, and equality among Arab youth. With insightful political analysis based on the latest statistics and first-hand accounts, Arab Dawn is an invigorating study of the Arab world and the transformative power of youth.


Trust, Voice, and Incentives: Learning from Local Success Stories in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa by Hana Brixi, Ellen Lust, and Michael Woolcock. World Bank.

This report examines the role of incentives, trust, and engagement as critical determinants of service delivery performance in MENA countries. Focusing on education and health, the report illustrates how the weak external and internal accountability undermines policy implementation and service delivery performance and how such a cycle of poor performance can be counteracted. Case studies of local success reveal the importance of both formal and informal accountability relationships and the role of local leadership in inspiring and institutionalizing incentives toward better service delivery performance. Enhancing services for MENA citizens requires forging a stronger social contract among public servants, citizens, and service providers while empowering communities and local leaders to find 'best fit' solutions. Learning from the variations within countries, especially the outstanding local successes, can serve as a solid basis for new ideas and inspiration for improving service delivery. Such learning may help the World Bank Group and other donors as well as national and local leaders and civil society, in developing ways to enhance the trust, voice, and incentives for service delivery to meet citizens' needs and expectations.


A Political Economy of the Middle East by Melani Cammett, Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards, and John Waterbury. Fourth Edition. Westview Press.

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of developments in the political economy of the region over the past several decades, examining the interaction of economic development processes, state systems and policies, and social actors in the Middle East. This new/fourth edition, with new authors Melani Cammett and Ishac Diwan, has been thoroughly revised, with two new introductory chapters that provide an updated framework with which to understand and study the many changes in demography, education, labor markets, urbanization, water and agriculture, and international labor migration in the recent years. The new edition also includes: a new chapter that charts the political economy of the Gulf states and, in particular, the phenomenal growth of oil economies; a new chapter on the rise of "crony capitalism;" and increased coverage of the changes in civil society and social movements in the region, including an exploration of the causes, dynamics, consequences, and aftermath of the Arab uprisings.


Politics and Governance in the Middle East by Vincent Durac and Francesco Cavatorta. Palgrave Macmillan.

The New Middle East: The World after the Arab Spring by Daniel Danahar. Bloomsbury. 

Expanding Opportunities for the Next Generation: Early Childhood Development in the MENA by S El-Kogali and Caroline Krafft. World Bank.

Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors by J Frosini and F Biagi. Routledge Studies in MENA Democratization and Government.

Economic Implications of Lifting Sanctions on Iran by Shanta Devarajan and Lilli Mottaghi. World Bank.

Improving the Quality of Financial Intermediation in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries. World Bank. Engagement Note.

Champions Wanted: Promoting Exports in the Middle East and North Africa by Mélise Jaud and Caroline Freund. World Bank.

Contentious Politics in the Middle East: Popular Resistance and Marginalized Activism Beyond the Arab Uprisings edited by F A. Gerges. Palgrave Macmillan.


Iran’s Political Economy since the Revolution by Suzanne Maloney. Cambridge

University Press.

Learning in the Face of Adversity: The UNRWA Education Program for Palestinian Refugees by H Abdul-Hamid, H A Patrinos, J Reyes, J Kelcey, and A Diaz Varela. World Bank.


The Penguin State of the Middle East Atlas by Dan Smith

Saudi Arabia in Transition: Insights on Social, Political, Economic and Religious Change by Bernard Haykel and Thomas Hegghammer. Cambridge University Press.

The Negotiator: A Memoir by George Mitchell. Simon and Schuster.

Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization by Linda Pappas Funsch. Palgrave Macmillan.

From the First World War to the Arab Spring: What’s Really Going on in the Middle East? by M. E. McMillan. Palgrave Macmillan.



Business, Banking, Finance and Accounting

Exploring Assurance on Integrated Reporting and Other Emerging Developments in External Reporting. IFAC.

The purpose of this publication, prepared by the Integrated Reporting Working Group, is to inform stakeholders about the IAASB’s ongoing work to explore assurance on integrated reporting and other emerging developments in external reporting. It explains that the IAASB established the Integrated Reporting Working Group to inform the IAASB as to how and when to respond to these developments most effectively in the public interest, and outlines the group’s activities.



Interpretation and Application of IPSAS by Caroline Aggestam-Pontoppidan. Wiley Regulatory Reporting.

Interpretation and Application of IPSAS provides practical guidance on the implementation and application of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards. This book brings readers up to date on the standards, and describes their proper interpretation and real-world application. Examples and mini-case studies clarify the standards' roles throughout, giving readers a better understanding of complex processes, especially where the IPSAS deviate from IFRS. Readers also gain insight into smoothly navigating the transition for a public sector entity, which is moving to either IPSAS under accrual basis of accounting or to cash accounting IPSAS, plus an overview of IPSAS adoption status and methods around the world. Global public sector accounting is highly diversified, resulting in ongoing moves to harmonize standards worldwide. The IPSAS are international standards that largely follow the IFRS model, but differ in some key areas and include standards in places where IFRS has none. This book provides complete guidance to IPSAS, with clear explanation and expert insight.

•Understand the meaning and role of each standard

•Apply the standards to real-world scenarios ,

•Manage the process of transition to IPSAS


These standards are meant to be followed by all public sector entities, including national and regional governments and local authorities. They've been adopted by the UN, NATO, the European Commission, and others, and either have been or soon will be adopted in Malaysia, Switzerland, Spain, and more.



Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016: Assessing Public Procurement Systems in 77

Economies.  World Bank.

Public Sector Accounting, by Tjerk Budding, Giuseppe Grossi and Torbjorn Tagesson. Routledge.



Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, by International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Islamic Finance and the New Financial System: An Ethical Approach to Preventing Future Financial Crises by Tariq Alrifai.  Wiley Finance.

Principles of Islamic Accounting by Nabil Baydoun and Maliah Sulaiman. Wiley Finance.

A Director’s Guide to Integrated Reporting, Deloitte.

Business Sustainability: Performance, Compliance, Accountability and Integrated Reporting by Z Rezaee. Greenleaf Publishing.

Risk Management for Islamic Banks: Recent developments from Asia and the Middle East, by I Wahyudi, F Rosmanita, M Budi Prasetyo and N Iwani, S Putri. Wiley.

Women, Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal. World Bank.

General Economics, Development Economics and the Global Economy

Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

In the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession, economics seems anything but a science. In this sharp, masterfully argued book, Dani Rodrik, a leading critic from within, takes a close look at economics to examine when it falls short and when it works, to give a surprisingly upbeat account of the discipline. Drawing on the history of the field and his deep experience as a practitioner, Rodrik argues that economics can be a powerful tool that improves the world―but only when economists abandon universal theories and focus on getting the context right. Economics Rules argues that the discipline's much-derided mathematical models are its true strength. Models are the tools that make economics a science. Too often, however, economists mistake a model for the model that applies everywhere and at all times. In six chapters that trace his discipline from Adam Smith to present-day work on globalization, Rodrik shows how diverse situations call for different models. Each model tells a partial story about how the world works. These stories offer wide-ranging, and sometimes contradictory, lessons―just as children’s fables offer diverse morals. Whether the question concerns the rise of global inequality, the consequences of free trade, or the value of deficit spending, Rodrik explains how using the right models can deliver valuable new insights about social reality and public policy. Beyond the science, economics requires the craft to apply suitable models to the context. The 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers challenged many economists' deepest assumptions about free markets. Rodrik reveals that economists' model toolkit is much richer than these free-market models. With pragmatic model selection, economists can develop successful antipoverty programs in Mexico, growth strategies in Africa, and intelligent remedies for domestic inequality. At once a forceful critique and defense of the discipline, Economics Rules charts a path toward a more humble but more effective science.


The Economics of Inequality

by Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer. Harvard University Press.


Thomas Piketty―whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century pushed inequality to the forefront of public debate―wrote The Economics of Inequality as an introduction to the conceptual and factual background necessary for interpreting changes in economic inequality over time. This concise text has established itself as an indispensable guide for students and general readers in France, where it has been regularly updated and revised. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer, The Economics of Inequality now appears in English for the first time. Piketty begins by explaining how inequality evolves and how economists measure it. In subsequent chapters, he explores variances in income and ownership of capital and the variety of policies used to reduce these gaps. Along the way, with characteristic clarity and precision, he introduces key ideas about the relationship between labor and capital, the effects of different systems of taxation, the distinction between “historical” and “political” time, the impact of education and technological change, the nature of capital markets, the role of unions, and apparent tensions between the pursuit of efficiency and the pursuit of fairness. Succinct, accessible, and authoritative, this is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of one of the most pressing concerns in contemporary economics and politics.


The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet. Simon & Schuster.

Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change, Global Monitoring Report: 2015/2016. World Bank.


Global Financial Development Report: Long-Term Finance, 2015/2016.  World Bank.

Global Financial Stability Report. International Monetary Fund (IMF).

World Economic Outlook. International Monetary Fund (IMF)

International Debt Statistics 2016, World Bank Group