Images of the Arab World and Middle East, Debates About Development and Regional Integration
Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3, p. 390, 2011
39 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2008 Last revised: 17 Jun 2011
Date Written: May 26, 2011
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.
Keywords: law and development, international trade law, law and globalization, Arab world, Middle East, critical geography
JEL Classification: K33, O19, O53, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation