The introductory seminar to the fall 2013 seminar series, "The Politics and Economics of Transitions in the Middle East," with Professor Djavad Salehi-Isfahani. Learn more about the series here.

Countries in the Middle East that have experienced uprisings and revolutions confront serious economic challenges, old ones inherited from the past and new ones created by the uprising itself. They face the need to stabilize their economies at a time when revolutions have raised expectations for redistribution and jobs. At the same time they have to deal with the almost contradictory demands for radical change to economic structures that had given rise to inequality, unemployment and poverty, the very circumstances that had brought the revolutions in the first place. This seminar aims to illuminate the politics and economics of these choices, as well as the experience of actual transitions in Egypt and Tunisia.

We encourage you to be familiar with the following readings in advance of the seminar:

After the Spring: Economic Transitions in the Arab World
Magdi, A., R. Assaad, N. al-Baharna, K. Dervis, R. Desai, N. Dhillon, A. Galal, H. Ghanem, C. Graham, D. Kaufmann, H. Kharas, J. Page, D. Salehi-Isfahni, K. Sierra, T. Yousef, Oxford University Press, 2012.

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, “Education, Jobs, and Equity in the Middle East and North Africa,” Comparative Economic Studies, 54(4), pp. 843-861, 2012.

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Ragui Assaad, and Nadia Belhaj Hassine
"Equality of Opportunity in Educational Achievement in the Middle East and North Africa"

About Professor Salehi-Isfahani:

Professor Djavad Salehi-Isfahani is the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Middle East Initiative for fall 2013. Professor Salehi-Isfahani received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He is currently Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Research Fellow at the Economic Research Forum in Cairo.

He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1977-84), been visiting faculty at the University of Oxford (1991-92), the Brookings Institution (2007-08), and Harvard Kennedy School (2009-2010). He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Economic Research Forum and on the Board of the Middle East Economic Association. He currently serves as the Associate Editor of the Middle East Development Journal. His research has been in energy economics, demographic economics, and the economics of the Middle East.

He has co-authored two books, Models of the Oil Market and After the Spring: Economic Transitions in the Arab World, and edited two volumes, Labor and Human Capital in the Middle East and The Production and Diffusion of Public Choice. His articles have appeared in Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, Health Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Economic Inequality, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Development Journal, and Iranian Studies, among others.