Peterson Institute for International Economics

Roubini Topic Archive: Middle East and Africa

  • Iran’s Food Supply Gets Pinched

    Washington and Brussels are trying to curb Iranian oil revenue in a bid to convince Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But it appears financial sanctions imposed by the West are having a more immediate impact on what Iran buys from abroad rather than what it sells. Reports this week suggest Iranian companies are […]

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  • A Marshall Plan for Egypt

    The promising Arab Spring has left North Africa in limbo. Now the task is to build a new political and economic system that is sustainable. President Barack Obama’s speech on the Middle East on May 19 outlines most of the right economic features. When communism ended two decades ago, the Soviet Union fared much more […]

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  • Will Political Liberalization Produce a New Peronism in the Middle East?

    Compared to other regions of the world, the Middle East was once unique in its combination of authoritarianism and stultifying stability. No longer.  Beginning in Tunisia, a wave of political upheaval has rolled across the region, reaching Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and other countries caught between rising expectations and their antediluvian political systems, abetted by pan-Arab news channels and social networking media.

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  • Egypt’s Rent Curse

    The recent overthrow of President Mubarak offers great hope for Egypt’s future political development. But the challenge of economic transformation will be no less important, and arguably as difficult. This challenge is viewed as one of achieving greater globalization and a greater role for markets inside Egypt. The more fundamental challenge, however, is different.

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  • What the United States Can Do to Help a Post-Mubarak Egypt

    By Jeffrey J. Schott and Barbara Kotschwar

    Whoever emerges on top of the unfolding political crisis in Egypt, there is little doubt that the country is in need of fresh economic policies as well as fresh leadership. One year ago, we argued in Reengaging Egypt: Options for US-Egypt Economic Relations that the United States should pursue programs that help Egypt “create a better environment for expanding economic opportunities and promoting democratic processes in Egypt.”  In the event, both sides dithered.  Economic reforms were pursued in half-steps and too slowly to address some of the underlying economic factors that have contributed to the political rebellion now spreading across Egypt.

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  • Assessing the Tragedy of the Pakistan Floods

    By Mohsin S. Khan and Shuja Nawaz

    The floods in Pakistan have affected one-fifth of the country (an area roughly the size of England) and engulfed large parts of all four provinces—Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North West Frontier Province). The vast scope of the damage makes this a truly national disaster bearing long-term economic and political consequences for the whole country. With waters still rising, it is far too early to assess the economic costs, which will continue to mount. A proper assessment will be made in time by the government of Pakistan, assisted by the United Nations and the World Bank, but some indicators already allow for a preliminary and admittedly impressionistic view of the damage.

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  • Does Russia Belong in the BRICs?

    Uniquely BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) has become a political grouping after having been invented by Jim O’Neill at Goldman Sachs. In June 2009, Russia organized the first BRIC summit, but will it hold?

    The emerging economies will soon account for most of the world economy. We are at a crossroads of world history, as Oswald Spengler caught in his pessimistic 1918 book Der Untergang des Abendlandes or Paul Kennedy in his 1988 book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.

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  • Will Sanctions Against Iran Work This Time?

    Jeffrey J. Schott says carefully targeted sanctions could impede Iran’s nuclear program and energy infrastructure, but they are unlikely to change Iranian leaders’ political agenda. Steve Weisman: A deadline for Iran to comply with a request to suspend its uranium enrichment has come and gone as of January 2010. This is Steve Weisman at the […]

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