• Mohammed Akacem
  • Dennis Dixon Miller
  • John Leonard Faulkner


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region faces many challenges including rapid population growth, youth unemployment, limited arable land, misuse of the oil riches, wasteful spending and corruption, autocratic governments and absolute monarchies, and unstable future oil revenues with which to buy peace. Maintaining the status quo across MENA has become unsustainable.

This introductory chapter raises many questions that are addressed throughout the book including these questions by chapter:
  1. 1.

    What is the scope of this book?

  2. 2.

    How have oil markets changed over time and will oil markets be a reliable source of revenue in the future?

  3. 3.

    Is MENA doomed by an oil curse? Is there such a thing as an oil or a natural resource curse? Or does the institutional deficit so prevalent in MENA explain the poor economic performance of the oil MENA region?

  4. 4.

    What explains the lack of democracy in MENA?

  5. 5.

    What are the threats to MENA’s oil revenue from the shale oil revolution, alternative energy, and renewable energy?

  6. 6.

    What would happen to the price of and demand for gasoline and oil if all social costs were included in their price and if climate change were truly mitigated as envisioned by the Paris Agreement and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report?

  7. 7.

    What can MENA do to curb its population growth, high youth unemployment, and low female labor participation rate? How can MENA feed its growing population with limited arable land?

  8. 8.

    Why is the status quo unsustainable?

  9. 9.

    How would a plan of citizen ownership of oil work and could it nudge MENA towards adopting more accountable governments?

  10. 10.

    What reforms are needed and how can they be achieved?



  1. International Monetary Fund (2017) Regional Economic Outlook Middle East and Central Asia, October, p 1Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed Akacem
    • 1
  • Dennis Dixon Miller
    • 2
  • John Leonard Faulkner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics Campus Box 77Metropolitan State University of DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Baldwin Wallace UniversityBereaUSA
  3. 3.ArlingtonUSA

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