A Political Economy of the Middle East, 4th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2015. (With Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards and John Waterbury. )

The fourth edition of A Political Economy of the Middle East is a substantially revised and updated version of this classic text, originally authored by Alan Richards and John Waterbury. The new edition includes a new framework for understanding politics, economics and the intersection between the two across the entire Middle East. Existing chapters are updated and rewritten while new chapters are included. A link to the book website is available here.

Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014.

In the Middle East and elsewhere in the Global South, ethnic and religious groups provide social welfare alongside or in the place of states. Compassionate Communalism analyzes sectarianism through the lens of social welfare. Focusing on health care, education and material assistance, the book compares the welfare distribution strategies of Christian, Shia Muslim, and Sunni Muslim political parties in Lebanon, where social service provision is a terrain of political contestation. Brief additional case studies of the Sadrist Movement in Iraq and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India complement the in-depth research on Lebanon. Why do some “sectarian” providers distribute welfare goods broadly, even to non-coreligionists, while others allocate services more narrowly? Based on extensive field research and diverse forms of quantitative and qualitative data, this research unpacks the political logics of service provision by sectarian organizations. Non-state welfare performs a critical function in the absence of capable state institutions but it comes at a price. When partisanship and ethnic or religious identity mediate access to welfare, social divisions and inequalities can emerge or become further entrenched. Beyond caring for the needy, service provision by sectarian groups may also sustain competing visions of the polity and introduce new dimensions of social inequalities.

The research for this book was supported by grants from the Smith Richardson Foundation, U.S. Institute of Peace, Academy Scholars Program of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and Salomon Faculty Research Grant at Brown University. Compassionate Communalism won the 2015 Giovanni Sartori Book Award of the APSA Section on Qualitative and Mixed Methods and the Honorable Mention for the 2015 Gregory Luebbert Book Award of the APSA Section on Comparative Politics. An article based on this research won the 2011 Alexander L. George Award of the APSA Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Section. Here are the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Chapter 1 of Compassionate Communalism. 

The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014. (Co-edited with Lauren Morris MacLean)

Throughout the world, non-state social welfare is on the rise. This edited volume addresses the political consequences of social welfare provision by diverse types of international and domestic non-state actors, including for-profit firms, NGOs, religious charities, political parties, communal groups, informal brokers and family networks, among others. (See the table of contents here.) In the Introduction and Chapter 2, we develop an analytical framework for assessing the effects of non-state welfare provision on access to services, experiences of citizenship, and state capacity. In the Conclusion, we evaluate the framework in light of empirical evidence from chapters in the volume on distinct provider types from countries in diverse global regions. In Chapter 7, I discuss the social and political consequences of welfare provision by sectarian parties. The book received the Honorable Mention for the 2015 Outstanding Book in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

Globalization and Business Politics in Arab North Africa: A Comparative PerspectiveNew York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

This book analyzes when and how business groups in developing countries mobilize collectively in response to global economic pressures and examines how different patterns business-government linkages affect processes of industrial upgrading. The central claim is that the historical development of business-government relations shapes business responses to globalization. Both the balance of power between business and the state before economic opening and business class structure combine to form different patterns of business-government relations, which range from collusive and collaborative to more distant. New incentives from globalization interact with distinct patterns of business-government relations to produce varied types of business mobilization in the face of economic change. In countries with distant business-government relations, economic liberalization engenders less pronounced domestic struggles. In countries with collusive business-government relations, however, new export-oriented business factions organize against protected economic elites, compelling them to create well-structured business lobbies.

The book illustrates these arguments through the cases of Tunisia and Morocco, where business responses to economic change varied markedly. Tunisian industrialists avoided collective lobbying efforts and, as a result, the state-dominated system of economic policy-making remained relatively stable. By contrast, Moroccan producers organized powerful collective lobbying efforts through producer associations and increasingly expressed policy goals through public channels. These varied responses led to different processes of implementing industrial upgrading strategies. The final chapter of the book tests the argument against additional country cases, including India, pre- and post-democratization Taiwan and Turkey. You can buy this book at or at



  • “Popular Grievances in the Arab Region: Evaluating Explanations for Discontent in the Lead-Up to the Uprisings.” Manuscript under review. (With Nisreen Salti)
  • “Resource Wealth and Private Sector Develompent in the Middle East.” Manuscript in progress. (With Ishac Diwan)
  • “The Value of Positive Deviant Cases for Development Policy.” Manuscript in progress.
  • “Diversity and Accountability: Intergroup Relations and Public Goods Provision in Lebanon.” Research in progress. (With David Romney)
  • “Community Participation and the Performance of Primary Health Care Providers in Tunisia: Grassroots and Elite Mechanisms of Accountability.” Research in progress. (With Ellen Lust, Carmel Salhi and Margaret Kruk)
  • “The Material and Non-Material Foundations of Political Support: Clientelism, Threat Perceptions and Programmatic Appeal in Lebanese Elections.” Research in progress. (With Sami Atallah and Dominika Kruszewska)
  • “Patterns of State-Mobilized Demonstrations in the Middle East.” Research in progress. (With Ashley Anderson)
  • “The Sociopolitical Determinants of Quality in the Lebanese Primary Health Sector.” Manuscript in progress.  (With Carmel Salhi)
  • “The Effects of Power-Sharing on Public Goods Provision.” Research in progress. (With Pellumb Kelmendi and Edmund Malesky)
  • “The Colonial Roots of Institutional Development in the Middle East.” Research in progress. (With Gabriel Koehler-Derrick)
  • “The Historical Roots of Economic and Social Development in the Middle East.” Research in progress.
  • “Can Material Benefits Change Minds? Experimental Evidence on the Efficacy of Clientelistic and Programmatic Appeals in Promoting Pluralism in Lebanon.” Research in progress. (With Amaney Jamal, Tarek Masoud and Zeina Muhanna)


  • “Development and Underdevelopment in the Middle East.” In Carol Lancaster and Nicolas van de Walle, eds. Handbook of the Politics of Development. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016.
  • “The Effects of War and Violence Conflict on Youth in the Middle East.” In the Arab Human Development Report, United National Development Program, forthcoming 2016. (With Nisreen Salti.)
  • “Transition Experiences and Relevant Lessons for the Arab Transitions.” In The Middle East Economies in Times of Transition, edited by Ahmed Galal and Ishac Diwan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • “Fiscal Policy and Crony Capitalism in MENA Countries.” In The Middle East Economies in Times of Transition, edited by Ahmed Galal and Ishac Diwan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. (With Ishac Diwan.)
  • “The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East.” In Ellen Lust, ed., The Middle East, 14th ed. New York: CQ Press, 2015. (With Ishac Diwan)
  • “Social Welfare.” In Tulia Falleti, Orfeo Fioretos and Adam Sheingate, eds., Handbook of Historical Institutionalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. (With Aytuğ Şaşmaz)
  • “Human Insecurity: Poverty and Welfare in Lebanon.” In Donna Lee Bowen and Becky Schulthies, eds, Everyday Life in the Middle East, 3rd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014.
  • “Introduction,” “The Political Consequences of Non-state Social Welfare: An Analytical Framework” and “Conclusion.” In The Politics of Non-state Social Welfare, edited by Melani Cammett and Lauren Morris MacLean. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014. (With Lauren Morris MacLean)
  • “Sectarian Politics and Social Welfare: Non-state Provision in Lebanon.” In The Politics of Non-state Social Welfare, edited by Melani Cammett and Lauren Morris MacLean. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014.
  • “Epilogue: A Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings.” A Political Economy of the Middle East. Third ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, forthcoming 2013. (With Ishac Diwan.)
    • Abridged versions reprinted in Arabic in Kalamon Al-Thaqafiyya (Fall 2013), Le Monde Diplomatique/Al-Khaleej (October 2013) and Le Monde Diplomatique/Al-Ahram (Sept. 28, 2013); and in English in Jadaliyya (January 2013).
  • “Using Proxy Interviewing to Address Sensitive Topics.” In Layna Mosley, ed., Interviewing in Political Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013.
  • “The Diversity of Islamic Charitable Activities: Analytical Distinctions Among Shi’a Muslim Organizations in Lebanon.” Manuscript in Progress.” In Raj Brown and Justin Pierce, ed., Charities in the Non-Western World: The Development and Regulation of Indigenous and Islamic Charities. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • “The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East.” In Ellen Lust, ed., The Middle East, 13th ed. New York: CQ Press, 2013.
  • “The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East.” In Ellen Lust, ed., The Middle East, 12th ed. New York: CQ Press, 2010.
  • “Challenges to Networks of Privilege in Morocco: Implications for Network Analysis.” In Steven Heydemann, ed. Networks of Privilege in the Middle East: The Politics of Economic Reform Revisited. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 245-279.



  • Review of Jason Brownlee, Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance and Amaney Jamal, Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy At All? In Perspectives on Politics (December 2013). Available here.
  • Review of Mona Harb, Le Hezbollah à Beyrouth (1985-2005): De la Banlieue à la Ville. In Arab World Geographer (2012). Available here.
  • Review of Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History. In MESA Bulletin 42, no. 3 (Summer 2008). Available here.
  • Review of Jagdish Baghwati, In Defense of Globalization. In International Journal 60, no. 2 (Spring 2005).
  • Review of Eva Bellin, Stalled Democracy: Capital, Labor and the Paradox of State-Sponsored Development and Stephen King, Liberalization Against Democracy: The Local Politics of Economic Reform in Tunisia. In Perspectives on Politics 2, no. 2 (2004).
  • Review of Hugh Roberts, The Battlefield Algeria: Studies of a Broken Polity, 1988-2002. In Science and Society 68, no. 1(Spring 2004).
  • Review of Gregory White, A Comparative Political Economy of Morocco and Tunisia: On the Outside of Europe Looking In. In Journal of North African Studies 7, no. 2(Summer 2002): 122-25.

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