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Social Justice and Public Expenditure Policies in the Arab Revolutions
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Doha | 2014 | p. 7-26
ISSN 2305-2473
Ali Abdul Qadir Ali
Corporate author: 
Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies
Arab States

This paper examines the challenges faced by Arab spring states when formulating public expenditure policies that meet the revolutions’ demands. In an attempt to establish democratic regimes, the Arab revolutions dictated the creation of pluralist political institutions with concomitant implications for economic institutions. The paper suggests that the challenge of formulating a public expenditure policy in line with the revolutions’ aspirations for social justice lies in the inability of international development agencies, such as the IMF, to propose new and innovative ideas for formulating development policy. However, there are successful applied examples of distributive public expenditure policies for creating social justice. The paper reviews these examples in addition to the results of a survey identifying the size of the middle class in samples of Arab spring states. The survey demonstrates that the middle class represents a majority of population in these countries, suggesting that the transition to electoral democracy requires adopting distributional public expenditure policies in which the middle class voter occupies a central role.


Resource Type: 
Policy and strategy materials
Social justice / Equity
Level of education: 
Lifelong learning


Social justice; Democracy; Economic policy