Inequity, Exclusion, and Development: Prospects for the Middle East and Other Developing Countries
In the 1980s, the dominant approach to the political economy of development emphasized growth and its presumed policy correlates (austerity measures, trade liberalization, privatization, etc.). The logic of this “Washington Consensus” was that long-term economic growth would offset the short-term social and political costs of these policies through a trickle-down effect. Yet as reform programs faltered and polarization and income disparity increased dramatically in various developing countries, these theories gradually came under new scrutiny, both by long-time detractors and proponents of growth. In recent years, fieldwork in the field of development has grown, providing data that demonstrated the importance of equity for sustained development. This working group engaged in research on the proposed topic, with the aim of developing research papers that made a contribution to the debate based primarily, but not exclusively, on Middle Eastern cases.