The system of personalized Arab presidential power based on a strong security state had its origins in the assertion of national sovereignty in the dangerous post-independence world of the 1950s and 1960s. and then becoming more monarchical in character over time, including the attempt to perpetuate itself by passing power on to the ruler's son. Key to this development was the appearance around each ruler of a small group of crony-capitalists who used their privileged access to secure state monopolies which they then schemed to protect after the ruler's death. Both developments, that of family dictatorships, as well as their associated corruption and cronyism, can then be used to account in large measure with the uprisings associated with the Arab 'Spring'.
This article addresses the fact that little is known about the performance of the Iraqi economy after the 1970s due to a number of reasons including great official secrecy, the impact of repeated wars and, most important of all, the system of disaggregated economic management put in place by the Bathi regime in which many important parts of the system were managed, off-budget, as discrete units. While acknowledging the great difficulties in reconstructing the overall effect of such a system, Owen suggests ways by which we might begin to understand its logic as a preliminary to the team effort needed to reconnect the economic history of the last thirty years with what went before. This, he argues, is vital not only for a proper study of Iraq's development effort but also as a benchmark against which to judge present efforts at economic reconstruction and recovery.
The article uses comparative Indian material from British India and later, the Pakistani Punjab to ask new questions of the standard accounts of Egypt’s post-1890 cotton boom. It also argues for the particular relevance of the rich Punjabi green revolution data to the Egyptian case, and more generally, for the rewards to be obtained from an academic dialog between selected aspects of late nineteenth and of late twentieth century globalization. Topics analyzed include the impact of the various agricultural revolutions on social and regional inequalities, the issue of sustainability, the role of experts and the impact on health of long-term environmental degradation.
This essay is a comparison of Egypt's three 19th century statistical regimes, with particular emphasis on the third established by the British before WW1, and culminating in the holding of the 1917 census. It is argued that the organizer of this census used it self-consciously to encourage the production of statistical data as an essential tool of modern government. He also provided officials with a method of integrating their findings through the use of a national model based on the balance between population and resources. Foucault's notion of governmentality is deployed to provide a framework within which to understand the central processes at work.
The growth and transformation of Middle Eastern manufacturing industry has been little studied for the period before the advent of tariff autonomy, and thus protectionism, in the early 1930s The reasons for this are various but must have much to do with the many difficult problems involved. There is an obvious lack of data, particularly about the activities of the craft or small-scale sector which, even to this day, is regularly under-counted by government statisticians. There are also serious problems of definition which hage generally been ignored by the vast majority of economic historians who remain content to analyse manufacturing activity in terms of such simple dichotomies as modern/factory/capitalist versus traditional/workshop/pre-capitalist, a method which not only masks the fact that there are a whole range of activities which do not fall into such apparently neat categories but also — to introduce the major theme of this essay — makes it impossible to examine the complex interrelationship between plants of different size and degree of capitalisation. Finally, much of what passes for a ducussion of manufacturing activity has, in fact, got muddled with the much larger debate about the whole process of industrialisation, about whether particular areas of the Middle East could have developed their own industrial base before 1930, and about why they might have been prevented from doing so.