How Capitalism Failed the Arab World

The Economic Roots and Precarious Future of the Middle East Uprisings

Richard Javad Heydarian


The first book to fully examine the long-term economic and geopolitical roots of the Arab uprisings.
Economic liberalization has failed in the Arab world. Instead of ushering in economic dynamism and precipitating democratic reform, it has over the last three decades resulted in greater poverty, rising income inequality and sky-rocketing rates of youth unemployment. In How Capitalism Failed the Arab World, Richard Javad Heydarian shows how years of economic mismanagement, political autocracy and corruption have encouraged people to revolt, and how the initial optimism of the uprisings is now giving way to bitter power struggles, increasing uncertainty and continued economic stagnation.

A unique and provocative analysis of some of the key social and political events of the last decade.

Author Bio

Richard Javad Heydarian is an Assistant Professor in political science at De La Salle University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on international relations, and a policy advisor at the Philippine House of Representatives. He has authored more than 400 articles, policy papers, and op-eds on Asian geopolitical and economic affairs, writing for or interviewed by Foreign Affairs, BBC, Bloomberg, Aljazeera, Huffington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, The Nation, among other leading publications. As a specialist on foreign policy and economic development issues, he has served as a consultant to various local and international institutions.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Walden Bello
  • 1. A Brave New Middle East: The Birth of a New Era
  • 2. The Anti-Development State: Economic Origins of Arab Upheavals
  • 3. The Advent of Economic Globalization: A Prelude to Crisis
  • 4. The Great Recession: The Collapse of Arab Crony Capitalism
  • 5. The New Power Brokers: Political Islam and the Arab Summer
  • 6. Gulf Exceptionalism: How the Monarchies have Reshaped the Arab Spring
  • 7. Peering into the Abyss: The Arab Spring at the Crossroads
  • 8. Where Do We Go From Here? Finding the True Path to an Arab Spring


'An indispensable book for understanding the ugly aftermath of the Arab Spring without losing hope for a better tomorrow.'
Richard Falk, Princeton University

'An intellectually and morally courageous analysis, written with considerable flair and enthusiasm.'
Ali Mazrui, Rutgers University

'An extremely timely book.'
Jane Harrigan, SOAS

'A fundamental read for those interested in understanding the intersections of global economics and national politics in the contemporary world.'
Alcinda Honwana, The Open University

'A well-written, well-argued and well-documented book that provides a fresh look at this very complex phenomenon.'
Tareq Ismael, University of Calgary


Publication Date: 13 February 2014
224 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780329574
Hardback: 9781780329581
eBook ePub: 9781780329604
eBook PDF: 9781780329598
eBook Kindle: 9781780329611

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