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The year 2011 has seen various forms of social upheaval affect economies and politics not only in the Middle East and North Africa, but in all regions of the world. Events in 2010 and 2011 were not the purview of countries feeling most acutely the bite of the financial crisis. In fact, many of these countries weathered the crisis well, rapidly returning to strong and fast growth. Demonstrations and social unrest seem rather to be linked to a perception that the fruits of growth are not being shared equally, and to a limited scope for participation in the policy making process. Good macroeconomic management and social expenditure, while necessary, have proven insufficient if pursued in contexts where social cohesion is low or deteriorating.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: November 1, 2011


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