Economic Liberalisation, Social Capital and Islamic Welfare Provision


Economic liberalisation programmes have been introduced to several countries in the Middle East and North Africa in recent years, with the World Bank and IMF promoting this reform. The inevitable retrenchment of the state under liberalisation has arguably opened up a space for Islamic-based activities related to welfare provision. This book looks at two aspects of Islamic activity in the Middle East and North Africa: the development of social capital and the provision of welfare services, especially in the area of health and education. With in-depth country studies of Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, this book explores the differing experiences in the MENA countries, which range from the Tunisian experience, in which state welfare provision actually increased under liberalisation, to the experience of Jordan and Egypt, where increased poverty and a decline in the quality of state welfare provision under liberalisation has led to a large increase in Islamic welfare activities to the extent that the Muslim Brotherhood has gained considerable political capital, and now represents the main opposition to incumbent regimes in these two countries.

This book provides a detailed examination of the social impact of economic liberalisation in the Middle East and North Africa, using the social capital concept to analyse the Islamic response to welfare changes. With a comprehensive and detailed analysis of four MENA countries and their varying experiences of economic liberalisation, this book is essential reading for all interested in welfare, liberalisation and political economy in the Middle East and North Africa.


Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, ISBN 9780230202191, 232 pp.

Economic Liberalisation, Social Capital and Islamic Welfare Provision

Published 1 January 2009