Abdallah Zouache - Full Professor of Economics - Sciences Po Lille

Course Abstract - What is wrong with the Arab world? A political economy response.

The Arab world is at the heart of current events, but rarely for positive reasons. It is often associated with political troubles, terrorism, war, clan’s fights or battles of influence, refugees, but rarely for the invention of new technology, for its ability to invent new products or its cultural dynamism. This can be seen as a dark cultural picture of the Arab world. Yet, this course does not aim to be pessimistic. Working on the Arab world is a sign of optimism in itself. The main question that the course will deal is the following: what is wrong with the Arab world? The response is from an economist’s angle.This methodological choice does not involve that the argumentation is strictly economical. The course will use and refer to arguments and examples that belong to history, geography, political science, sociology.

The course will try to offer a comprehensive response to what is wrong with the Arab world, that is, in economic terms, why the Arab world has not been developed or integrated in the world apart from the furniture of hydrocarbons and natural resources. This module will thus provide an overview of the economies of Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa - past experiences, present situation and future challenges. It will focus on empirical studies of economic growth, Arab economic integration, geographical constraints, income distribution, labour markets and institutions. The module addresses the main economic features of the Arab countries; connecting them with the historical and institutional dimensions. Special attention will be given to the economic structures of the region countries and to the role of institutions in national development.