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Neoliberal Transformation and the Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

  • Karen Pfeifer

Abstract

By the lights of the international financial institutions, Tunisia and Egypt were the celebrated success stories of the “Washington Consensus,” or neoliberal reform, in the Arab Mediterranean and participated fully in the worldwide economic boom of the 2000–2008 period. Neoliberalism promised to shrink government and promote private enterprise as the engine of growth and new job creation. While fewer resources were provided to public investment and services like health and education, private investment did not fully compensate, even as most benefits of growth, liberalization, and privatization were concentrated in the hands of a class of crony capitalists led by the ruling families. Throughout the 2000s, the underside of neoliberal growth became more glaring, including capital flight, the limited contributions of foreign direct investment (FDI) and open trade to domestic development, growing regional disparities, multidi-mensional poverty, multidimensional inequality, and malfunctions of the labor market.

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment Human Development Index United Nations Development Program International Labour Organization Total Factor Produc Growth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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