Friday, February 06, 2015



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at


United Nations

Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)



[full-text, 156 pages]


The present report studies the Arab middle class; an important social group

that is relatively little understood despite the fundamental role it has played

in shaping the economic and social development outcomes in the Arab

region. This report contributes to the ongoing debate about factors that led to

the Arab uprisings and the difficult transitions to democracy that followed the

departure of long-standing dictators by marking elements influencing middle

class allegiances, specifically those that weakened their well-established

alliances with ruling regimes. The report is motivated by the conviction, on

the basis of past development experiences, that a new Arab development

model can only succeed if the middle class plays a lead role in designing and

implementing processes of economic transformation and political transition.

Studying the middle class is therefore crucial to interpreting the past,

understanding the present and reading the potential future development

prospects of the Arab region.


This report introduces three novel approaches aimed at charting a path for

sustaining, empowering and enlarging the middle class. The first is related

to the measurement of the middle class based on a definition that takes into

account both the quantity and quality of their consumption expenditure. The

second relates to the profiling of the Arab middle class using variables such

as education, employment and mobility, in addition to multidimensional

poverty. The third novel approach lies in using these results to provide a

narrative of the socioeconomic context of the decade leading up to the

uprisings, from a middle class perspective. The report concludes that the

empowerment of the Arab middle class could pave a way out of the current

development and governance debacle towards an Arab developmental State.



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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