Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East

Article excerpt


Clement M. Henry and Robert Springborg

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001, xxi, 258pp, [Symbol Not Transcribed]45.00 cloth, ISBN 0-521-62631-5, [Symbol Not Transcribed]14.95 paper, ISBN 0-521-62312-X

If economic globalization is the driving force in the contemporary world, how do Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries fare as they develop policies to 'contend with the threats and opportunities' of this trend? In this volume, Henry and Springborg manage a 'tour de force' by combining insightful theoretical analysis with intricate quantitative and qualitative details of the states and societies under examination. Their conclusion may not be novel but it is important: countries that have gone furthest on the road to democratization stand the best chance of developing effective policies to respond to globalization and improve economic performance. The structural power of global capital markets is irrefutable yet MENA regimes still hesitate on the way to go. Henry and Springborg warn that such hesitations may not only have 'severe opportunity costs' but that they may ultimately 'tilt the domestic power balances more in the direction of civil societies and away from states' (p 98).

The authors divide the MENA region into four 'ideal' types: bunker states, bully praetorian states, globalizing monarchies, and fragmented democracies. …


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