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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Finance & Development, December 2017
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Finance & Development, December 2017
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Finance & Development, December 2017
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Finance & Development, December 2017
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

THIS ISSUE OF F&D focuses on the Middle East and North Africa, taking stock of the region’s rapid transformation since the uprisings of 2011—a period that raised the hopes of millions for a better future and caused despair for millions of others. The iron lid that had kept Arab societies artificially stable has been lifted, writes Marwan Muasher of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. The only path to stability and prosperity is through institution building, power sharing, and inclusive growth—requiring a new social contract between governments and

Marwan Muasher

introduced to teach and encourage critical thinking, to allow questioning of what is being taught, and to encourage students to think logically and inquisitively. Schools must teach the value of diversity and drive home the lesson that truth is not absolute, that tolerance of different views is crucial, and that appreciation for different opinions is the key to innovation and renewal. Needless to say, these values are prerequisites to pluralism, equal citizenship, and civil states. The uprisings have taken an iron lid off Arab societies, a lid that kept them artificially

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes that although demands for political transformation commanded the world’s attention, those calls were largely motivated by unresolved socioeconomic issues. Demonstrators in the streets of Cairo and Tunis demanding bread, dignity, and social justice expressed widely held aspirations for basic economic rights, along with greater prosperity and equity. Almost seven years later, notable progress has been achieved in terms of public finance reforms. However, these reforms still have a long way to go to reduce disparities in the distribution of wealth within most countries of the region or narrow the development gaps between them. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa now face a stark choice between short-term retrenchment and resolute pursuit of the long-term reforms needed to secure their future economic prosperity. Forsaking important economic adjustments needed to strengthen inclusive growth and modernize the state and private sectors would set the region back, possibly for decades.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IN THE WAKE of the global financial crisis, many observers—including the Queen of England, who asked why economists hadn’t foreseen the crisis—questioned the usefulness of traditional economics. Heterodox economists even called for alternative approaches. But French economist Jean Tirole spells out the usefulness of rigorous economic thinking for society in deep, yet accessible, language in his book Economics for the Common Good.