"Like the president he now serves, Anton doesn't understand how the global trading order actually works. Trade agreements are long and complicated today because they are no longer primarily concerned with reducing tariffs (which are already quite low). Instead, contemporary trade agreements are mostly about harmonizing labor, regulatory, environmental, and copyright standards across many different societies, precisely for the purpose of creating fairer competition between states. Agreements of this kind are very much in America's interest, because otherwise U.S. workers would have to compete with foreign industries where labor and environmental standards are much lower than they are in the United States."
A seminar with Hedi Larbi, Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar, Fall 2015, MEI and Paul Salem, Vice President for Research and Policy, Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C. Introductory session for the fall 2015 study group led by MEI Visiting Scholar Hedi Larbi, Rewriting the Arab Social Contract: Toward Inclusive Development and Politics in the Arab World.
Almost five years since millions of Arab protestors demanded a new socio-economic and political contract for their societies, the harvest of change has been dramatically uneven. While Tunisia has moved forward toward inclusive democratic reform, other countries like Libya, Syria and Yemen have descended into outright state collapse and civil war, while Egypt has experienced a resurgence of nationalist authoritarianism. Meanwhile, radical groups like ISIS have risen to announce a new state and Caliphate astride the Syrian-Iraqi border. Why did demands for a new social contract fail, in most cases, to move forward? What could have been done differently? What can still be done today to de-escalate conflict and return to the task of building stable, inclusive and productive societies in the Arab world.
Please note: registration is not required, but an RSVP is requested for this session. Click here [RSVP now closed] to RSVP. Please note that an RSVP does not guarantee a seat at the session.
For more about Paul Salem, click here.
For more about Hedi Larbi, click here.