Maksoud Series: Regional Inequality & Uneven Development in the Arab World

Join us for the fourth installment of the Clovis Maksoud Lecture Series:

Regional Inequality & Uneven Development in the Arab World
A Talk by Dr. Adam Hanieh, of the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Abstract:
Numerous scholars have pointed to the widening social and economic inequalities that have emerged in the last two decades throughout the Middle East. These inequalities are deeply connected to the acceleration of neoliberal reform processes throughout the 2000s, and have clearly loomed large during the varied paths of the 2011 uprisings. Yet a full appreciation of these trends is hampered by the ‘methodological nationalism’ of much social science theorizing about the Middle East – a focus upon individual nation-states as self-contained and enclosed social structures, analytically distinct from the wider region and world market. Drawing upon debates in the fields of development studies, political economy and international relations, this talk will ask what it means to incorporate the inherently cross-scalar nature of capitalist development into our social science frameworks. The talk will present a concrete analysis of the ways in which patterns of inequality and difference in the Middle East are ineluctably shaped by uneven development across a variety of spatial scales. This unevenness is largely driven by cross-border movements of capital and labour (both citizen and migrant), with significant implications for the ways in which we conceptualize state, class and other social structures. The varied impacts of crisis – global, regional and national – have acted to intensify these differentials, shifting the pattern of financial and trade linkages with Western powers and consolidating a specific set of hierarchies within the region itself. In this manner, the paper contends that the region needs to be seen as much more than simply an additive function of discrete nation-states; approaching the region as a region is essential to any assessment of future political and social trajectories.

More About Dr. Adam Hanieh:
Dr. Adam Hanieh is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University, Canada (2009). His research examines the political economy of the Middle East, with a particular focus on class and state formation in the Gulf Cooperation Council. His recent books include Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011); Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (Haymarket, 2013); and (co-edited) Transit States: Labour, Migration and Citizenship in the Gulf (Pluto Press, 2014).

Wednesday, April 26 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Intercultural Center (ICC), Room 241 CCAS Boardroom Georgetown University, 3700 O Street NW, Washington, DC

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