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The Cost of the Arab Spring

This report by Geopolicity identifies the major drivers of change in the ‘Arab Spring’ and the economic impact so far.
Over the course of the past ten months, the Arab world has been thrown into the greatest panregional turbulence than at any other time since the 1950s. At stake in this regional gamble is the fate of millions of people from north Africa to the Levant, the fortunes of several key ruling dynasties, massive international interests—public as well as private — and a much more critical and profound reshaping of the Arab world psyche; including its relations with Israel. Yet, given the lack of representational political structures across the Arab realm and poor transparency around the re-distribution of national oil wealth, nothing less than meaningful institutional change will provide the tools to chart the challenges of the century.

Given the scale of the challenge at hand international support has fallen way short of expectations. The support promised by G8 at the May 2011 Deauville summit has to a large extent not materialized; and the impact of the now US$100 billion in support through the Breton Woods organization will, from a grassroots perspective, be ‘trickle down’ at best. Assistance is loan-based, focused on macroeconomic stabilization and is limited to Libya, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan; forming a carrot and stick approach to regional stabilization. The slow pace of broad-based European financial support for the range of Arab countries in turmoil is largely explained by: the ‘entente cordial’ between France and the UK over Libya ? which has tied up resources and strained strategic focus; an unprecedented fiscal crisis sweeping Europe on the back of a decade of expensive military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq; and, the absence of a clear road map to facilitate EU and U.S. engagement.

This report by Geopolicity ? an independent political intelligence consultancy advising institutions and governments worldwide and specializing in post-conflict transitions ? identifies the major drivers of change in the ‘Arab Spring’ and the economic impact so far. It aims to provide a viable framework for strengthening international support towards a strategic shift in approach - a view towards 'changing-the-channel'.