Welfare States in the Middle East

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter analyzes the origins and development of welfare provision in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It provides a three-pronged typology of existing welfare regimes in the region along the dimensions of welfare generosity and accessibility. This is followed by a historical institutionalist account of the emergence of Middle Eastern welfare states, which emphasizes the importance of different types of coalitions formed at the critical juncture of regime formation. The chapter then hones in on three major areas of social policy (education, health, and social security) and outlines their development over time. The final section analyzes the effect of war-making on welfare provision in MENA and introduces the concept of “cheap social policies,” using Egypt as an example. The conclusion summarizes the main points and adumbrates future research agendas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies
EditorsMelani Cammett, Jones Pauline
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • welfare state
  • social policies
  • Middle East and North Africa


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