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Images of the Arab World and Middle East, Debates About Development and Regional Integration


Michael Fakhri


University of Oregon - School of Law

May 26, 2011

Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3, p. 390, 2011

Abstract:     
Recently, the United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau of Arab States (UNDP RBAS) and the World Bank produced thoroughly researched and clearly written reports addressing development and regional integration in the Arab/Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Both reports were written for a broad, non-specialist audience and have garnered significant public attention. Both the UNDP RBAS and World Bank reports call for increased regional integration amongst Arab or MENA states but for different reasons - the UNDP RBAS report for purposes of norm building based on Arab identity and the World Bank report to gain economic growth from trade liberalization. In this paper, I examine how each report's definition of development relates to its reasoning for increased regional integration. The UNDP RBAS employs a human development/development as freedom approach and the World Bank considers economic growth paramount for development; this difference is exemplary of the current tension between competing development paradigms. I also draw out each reports understanding of law and describe the legal framework implicit in each report's prescriptions. By outlining the legal framework behind each report, I point out inconsistencies, tensions and ambiguities within each report and note the similarities between the two.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: law and development, international trade law, law and globalization, Arab world, Middle East, critical geography

JEL Classification: K33, O19, O53, K39

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Date posted: February 24, 2008 ; Last revised: June 17, 2011

Suggested Citation

Fakhri, Michael, Images of the Arab World and Middle East, Debates About Development and Regional Integration (May 26, 2011). Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3, p. 390, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1096680

Contact Information

Michael Fakhri (Contact Author)
University of Oregon - School of Law ( email )
1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR 97403
United States
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