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Social Dictatorships: The Political Economy of the Welfare State in the Middle East and North Africa

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages384
ISBN (Electronic)9780191872419
ISBN (Print)9780198834274
DOIs
Published27 Feb 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

Why have social spending levels and social policy trajectories diverged so drastically across labour-abundant Middle Eastern and North African regimes? And how can we explain the marked persistence of spending levels after divergence? Using historical institutionalism and a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods Social Dictatorships: The Political Economy of the Welfare State in the Middle East and North Africa develops an explanation of social spending in authoritarian regimes. It emphasizes the importance of early elite conflict and attempts to form a durable support coalition under the constraints imposed by external threats and scarce resources.

Social Dictatorships utilizes two in-depth case studies of the political origins of the Tunisian and Egyptian welfare state to provide an empirical overview of how social policies have developed in the region, and to explain the marked differences in social policy trajectories. It follows a multi-level approach tested comparatively at the cross-country level and process-traced at micro-level by these case studies.

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