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Aid and power in the Arab world: World Bank and IMF policy-based lending in the Middle East and North Africa

Harrigan, Jane and El-Said, Hamed (2009) Aid and power in the Arab world: World Bank and IMF policy-based lending in the Middle East and North Africa. Palgrave. ISBN 0230211968

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One of the key elements of the globalisation process in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the provision of finance by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in return for programmes of economic liberalisation which open up recipient economies to the global economy. Several of these recipient countries have been hailed by the institutions as successful reformers, and the growth observed has been regarded as a result of these reform programmes. However, the link between international finance projects and economic reform and growth is not always straightforward. This book presents the argument that many of the affected MENA countries have not been as succesful as often claimed, and that growth in the one unequivocal success story - Tunisia - was more the result of a strong state-led development programme than IMF and World Bank programmes. This book explores the political motivations for IMF and World Bank funding in MENA looking at both geo-politics and domestic political events in the recipients. This is complemented by critical in-depth country studies of four MENA countries that have been regarded as the most successful participants in the programmes - Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Offering a comprehensive overview of the role of the IMF and World Bank in the Middle East, and the politics of aid flows in the region, this book is an essential companion for all interested in recent economic reforms in the MENA region, and the impact of international financial institutions on the area.

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