Monday, October 22, 2007

Globalization With Arab Characteristics

by Marcus Noland and Howard Pack from YaleGlobal

In a poll recently conducted by Zogby International in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, majorities in four of the six countries supported governing business by sharia law, with pluralities in all six agreeing that sharia required further interpretation to enable businesses in the Muslim world to integrate into the global economy. This could be interpreted as a basis for adapting local values to the demands of globalization ... but the Washington Consensus it is not. Another poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while popular attitudes in the Middle East do not appear to be "anti-market," as some have alleged, they are not particularly supportive of the process of globalization on existing terms. The issue is how to square efficiency with the values and aspirations of local communities. The demographic pressures the region faces to productively employ its young people raise the stakes even higher.

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