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The Economics of the Arab Spring and its Aftermath
November 10, 2015Carnegie Endowment for Peace - Washington, DC

Join us on November 10, 2015 at 11 a.m. (EST) for a live discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace with our experts on the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.

The Arab uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria over the past five years represent a conundrum. Standard development indicators failed to capture or predict the outburst of popular anger during the so-called Arab Spring of 2011.

The World Bank's Elena Ianchovichina and Shantayanan Devarajan will discuss the findings of their recent report Inequality, Uprisings, and Conflict in the Arab World, and reflect on the economic origins of the Arab revolts. While many believe that income inequality was the most significant cause of the uprisings, the report weighs the role of other major drivers, mainly citizen frustrations with a shortage of quality jobs in the formal sector, poor quality public services, and governance issues. Carnegie's Joseph Bahout will moderate.

  • Elena Ianchovichina

    Lead economist in the Chief Economist Office of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region
    Elena Ianchovichina is Lead Economist in the Chief Economist Office of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region. Prior to this Ms. Ianchovichina managed the program on inclusive growth in the Economic Policy and Debt Department of the World Bank. She also served in the World Bank's Research Department and East Asia and Pacific region. Her work covers economic growth, international trade and policy reform issues in developing and transition economies. Ms. Ianchovichina has authored numerous papers and published more than 20 articles in a variety of journals including Canadian Journal of Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, Review of International Economics, World Bank Economic Review, Ecological Economics to name a few. She is also an editor of a Cambridge University Press book on dynamic global economic analysis. Ms. Ianchovichina has a Ph.D. degree from Purdue University.
  • Shantayanan Devarajan

    Chief economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region
    Shanta Devarajan is the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region. Since joining the World Bank in 1991, he has been a Principal Economist and Research Manager for Public Economics in the Development Research Group, and the Chief Economist of the Human Development Network, the South Asia Region and Africa Region. He was the director of the World Development Report 2004, Making Services Work for Poor People. Before 1991, he was on the faculty of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The author or co-author of over 100 publications, Mr. Devarajan’s research covers public economics, trade policy, natural resources and the environment, and general equilibrium modeling of developing countries. Born in Sri Lanka, Mr. Devarajan received his B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Joseph Bahout

    Visiting scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program
    Joseph Bahout is a visiting scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. His research focuses on political developments in Lebanon and Syria, regional spillover from the Syrian crisis, and identity politics across the region. Previously, Bahout served as a permanent consultant for the Policy Planning Unit at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009–2014). He was a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sciences Po Paris (2005–2014) and a senior fellow at Académie Diplomatique Internationale (2008–2014). He also served as a professor of political sociology and international relations at Université Saint-Joseph in Lebanon (1993–2004), and a researcher at the Beirut-based Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain (1993–2000). Bahout is currently an associate fellow at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, and a member of the scientific board of the Institut Français du Proche-Orient. He is the author of books on Syria’s business community and its political outlook (1994), and Lebanon’s political reconstruction (1998), in addition to numerous articles and book chapters. He is a frequent commentator in European and Arab media.

Inequality, uprisings, and conflict in the Arab World