Call for Papers: The Political Economy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Region

In their book ‘Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy’, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (2009) argue that different political institutions differently allocate political power and resources, hence the understanding that authoritarian regimes are expensive to run. Engaging with this hypothesis of resource allocation in politics, one may find the Arab region an excellent environment to further critically discuss the relation between the economy and authoritarianism, including the point at which Arab dictatorships may become too expensive to sustain.

It is indeed highly challenging to afford running an oppressive regime, and even more challenging to sustain it for a long period. In this context, and given the ‘failure’ of democratisation in the Arab region, the sustainability of oppression appears to be a dynamic that needs further examination in this part of the world. In a region with strikingly different economic models varying from those characterized by rich resources and scarce labour, where regimes can afford an economic bargain with their societies in which welfare is exchanged for  political freedoms (i.e., the Gulf States), and others characterized by limited natural resources and abundant labour (most other Arab states in varying degrees) that deem they cannot afford such a bargain and find it more affordable to expand their security apparatus.

Rowaq Arabi, a peer reviewed journal dedicated to human rights studies, is seeking research papers exploring topics pertaining to the economic sustainability of political oppression in the Arab region, highlighting the similarities and differences among coexisting models of authoritarianism, as well as internal and external support mechanisms. The journal calls for the submission of abstracts of papers containing original research (in Arabic or English) drawing on interdisciplinary approaches in social sciences, humanities, and law. Abstracts of maximum 150 words should be submitted to for evaluation along with the author’s CV and list of publications, if available. Later, submitted papers will be sent to blind peer-reviewing. Authors of approved manuscripts will receive financial remuneration upon publication. Papers that do not follow Rowaq Arabi’s style guidelines—available here—will not be considered for peer-reviewing.

Rowaq Arabi suggests the following inexhaustive list of research subtopics and welcomes other proposals salient to the main theme:

To read more about Rowaq Arabi, its history in print since 1996 and its ongoing online transition, in addition to its publication guidelines, please refer to this link.

Read this post in: العربية

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